by John Fithian, President & CEO, NATO
Few families have had a greater impact on the world of motion picture exhibition than the Marcus family. Ben Marcus based his company on brains, savvy, integrity, compassion, and grit. His son, Steve Marcus, took over for his father and expanded the reach and reputation of The Marcus Corporation. Given Steve's remarkable career in exhibition, and his generous philanthropic spirit, BoxOffice Pro could not have selected a more appropriate candidate for its inaugural Hall of Fame.
In more than 50 years with the company, Steve worked his way up the ranks to serve as president beginning in 1980 and then CEO beginning in 1998. I have had the pleasure of working with Steve since 1992 and, like many others, have learned so much from him. Steve is a brilliant businessman who never needs to raise his voice to have an impact. He cares deeply about the people who work for him and the moviegoers (and hotel guests) who frequent his businesses. He has also consistently supported many charities, including Variety the Children's Charity. It is wonderful to see that Variety International will honor Steve this May.
Steve's tireless commitment extends beyond his own company and the charities he loves to the industry at large. I can't think of any other member of the National Association of Theatre Owners who has worked harder for his fellow exhibitors, or effectively held more voluntary positions within the organization. Steve has served as NATO's board chairman, vice-chairman, and treasurer; as the association's Finance Committee chair; as the head of our Strategic Planning Committee; and in many other capacities. Similarly, Steve has long held a leading role in the very successful local unit, NATO of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Steve has simply had a leading hand in growing NATO to the modern and effective association it is today. And Steve never forgets about the "little guy," as he has remained a fierce advocate of independent cinema operators even as The Marcus Corporation has grown into the fifth largest company in the country.
On behalf of the NATO staff and our 630 members who operate in every state and 81 countries around the world, all hats are off for a true industry icon-Steve Marcus.