National Association of Theatre Owners

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The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) is a trade organization based in the United States whose members are the owners of movie theaters. Most major theatre chains are members, as are many independent theatre operators; collectively, they account for the operation of over 32,000 motion picture screens in all 50 U.S. states and 81 other countries.[citation needed]

NATO was founded in 1965 by the merger of the largest movie theater trade organizations, the Theater Owners of America and the Allied States Association of Motion Picture Exhibitors.[1]

The official magazine of NATO is Boxoffice.


CinemaCon (formerly ShoWest)[edit]

As ShoWest, the convention was formerly one of four major worldwide annual events owned by the Film Group unit of Nielsen Business Media before being sold in 2011 to e5 Global Media and operated exclusively by NATO.

Renamed CinemaCon in 2011, the convention is NATO's only official convention of theater owners controlled by the organization itself. The first gathering took place March 2011 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, with the second held April 23–26, 2012, at the same venue.[2]

CinemaCon is now a standalone movie theater industry trade show or exposition originally established by NATO in 1975,[citation needed] usually held in Las Vegas in early March.[3]

Other Conventions[edit]

The remaining Nielsen Media event properties include CineEurope held in Barcelona, Spain in June, CineAsia held in early December in varying locations throughout Southeast Asia, and ShowEast, held in late October or early November in the Southeastern United States, usually somewhere in the Miami-Dade area.

Apart from CinemaCon, as presented on the website for the Nielsen Media Film Group, hosted by Nielsen Business Media,

The Nielsen Film Group events — CineEurope, ShowEast and CineAsia — are the only conventions and tradeshows dedicated to the needs of the movie theatre industry worldwide. Our events bring together the key decision makers from every major, regional and independent theatre circuit with the major International Film Distributors, as well as the manufacturers of products, services and technologies for the movie theatre industry. All of our events include screenings of upcoming films, product reel presentations, educational seminars, special events and awards galas.[3]

According to Rick Lyman, of The New York Times, all four events are "the largest and most important gathering of theatre operators" in the world, at which "the theatrical distribution business takes stock of its problems, which have been legion, and assesses its future, always through the rosiest glasses available."[4]

American Movie Awards[edit]

In 1980, NATO initiated the American Movie Awards, held at the Wilshire Theater, Beverly Hills, California, and broadcast on NBC, with the winners selected based on voting by theater patrons.[5] Various legal difficulties prevented the awards from being presented in 1981, and the event was discontinued after the 1982 awards due to competition from other awards shows.[citation needed]

CinemaCon Awards 2011[6][edit]

CinemaCon Awards 2012[6][edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Merger Approved by Theater Owners". The New York Times (print) (The New York Times Company). September 9, 1965. p. 15. 
  2. ^ CinemaCon (official site). Retrieved May 3, 2012. Archived from the original on May 3, 2012
  3. ^ a b "Nielsen Film Group" (Web). Retrieved 2008-08-17. 
  4. ^ Rick Lyman (2001-03-12). "Media: A Partly Cloudy Forecast for Theater Owners" (Web). The New York Times, Business (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2008-08-17. 
  5. ^ "American MovieAwards: Awards Summary: Marquee" (Web). Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2008-08-17. 
  6. ^ a b "2011 Press Releases", Archived from the original on May 23, 2012

External links[edit]