NATO CEO John Fithian retires after 30 years with the Organization – Below the Line


Image by John Fithian via CurtCo Media

John Fithianwho is the CEO of National Association of Theater Ownersannounced that he will retire on May 1, 2023 after 30 years with the organization,

Fithian began working with NATO as an outside adviser in 1992. He became the organization’s chairman in 2000, and the group has already begun looking for Fithian’s successor, who will effectively be NATO’s top lobbyist. exhibition industry.

Fithian’s long tenure marked a period of change for cinemas, from their transition from film to digital projection, not to mention the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced theaters to close, leaving many critics wondering if they would ever reopen. It was Fithian, working in tandem with theater owners and public health experts, who ensured their reopening by helping to create a set of safety standards and cleaning procedures.

“It’s almost impossible to sum up a career spanning three decades in a few sentences. I will leave that to others,” Fithian said in a statement. “But my highest goal has always been to leave this organization and this industry stronger and more effective than I found it – and more importantly – to ensure that it remains strong and effective after I’m gone. The professional and experienced staff I leave behind and the culture of service we have built together are a legacy of which we can be proud.

Fithian should also be proud of his lobbying efforts to get the federal government to pass legislation giving federal loans to theater owners and expanding unemployment benefits to about 150,000 theater workers who were laid off during the pandemic.

Fithian also held the line when it came to industry pressure to reduce theater windows, and while the theater window for some titles is down to just 17 days, Fithian correctly predicted that theaters would remain crucial to a movie’s bottom line, as it’s next impossible for streamers to recoup the costs of hit movies via new subscribers and their monthly fees.

“John’s impact on the film industry is profound and lasting,” the NATO chairman said. Roland Rodriguez said in a statement. “Whether in Hollywood, Washington, DC or abroad, NATO’s reach and effectiveness as an advocate for the motion picture industry [have] grown and honed under John’s guidance. We have big shoes to fill, and we offer John our [most] a heartfelt thank you for all his years of service.


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