Cineplex president and CEO and 35-year exhibition vet Ellis Jacob will receive the 2022 NATO Marquee Award at this year’s CinemaCon, which runs April 25-28 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Jacob will be honored at CinemaCon’s “State of the Industry” program April 26.
“Ellis Jacob is quite simply a marvelous human being,” said NATO president and CEO John Fithian. “He provided steady and insightful leadership as NATO chairman as the industry descended into the depths of the pandemic, and I continue to rely on his wise counsel. His dedication to his company and this industry is unmatched. That dedication is paired with a kindness and courtesy that is rare and is a hallmark of his career.”
Rolando Rodriguez, NATO chairman and chairman, president and CEO of Marcus Theatres, said: “Ellis Jacob, while running his own company, dedicated countless hours to guiding the industry through our deepest crisis. It is impossible to overstate his contribution to NATO and his leadership. As his successor as NATO chairman during the worst of the pandemic, I know firsthand what that leadership meant to the industry and to me. We are stronger because of him.”
Jacob has kept Canada’s No. 1 movie theater chain on steady course as its weathered the reopening, closing, and then reopening again of cinemas in the Great White North, most recently due to Omicron. Movie theaters literally just reopened in Ontario, the biggest moviegoing province, after being shuttered since early December.
Cineplex operates more than 160 movie theatres with 1,652 screens. Cineplex also conceived of and operates 13 Entertainment complexes offering food, live entertainment and gaming for millennials (The Rec Room) and young families (Playdium). Other arms of the chain include digital commerce (CineplexStore.com), alternative programming (Cineplex Events), cinema media (Cineplex Media), digital place-based media (Cineplex Digital Media) and amusement solutions (Player One Amusement Group). Cineplex is a joint venture partner in Scene+, Canada’s largest entertainment loyalty program.
Jacob serves as a member of the board of directors of Cineplex Inc., Toronto’s Baycrest Centre for Geriatrics, the Movie Theatre Association of Canada, ASM Global and Boat Rocker Media. He is a former NATO chairmain and currently serves on its executive board. In addition, he serves as an executive committee member of the Global Cinema Federation and is a founding director of the Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation.
In 2019, Jacob received the ICTA Global Cinema Innovation Award, was recognized in 2014 as Waterstone Capital’s Most Admired CEO in the Enterprise Category and in 2013 was awarded the Most Innovative CEO from Canadian Business Magazine. Most recently in 2021, Jacob was appointed to the Order of Ontario after previously being appointed to the Order of Canada in 2010, for his contributions to the entertainment and movie exhibition industry along with his voluntary and philanthropic endeavors.
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