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How many years have you worked in the Movie Theatre Industry and how did you first become involved?
I first became involved in the industry over 30 years ago after graduating high school. I was looking for a part time job, I was hired as an usher at the Mann Union Square 6 in Lakewood, Colorado and instantly fell in love with the business. I advanced to management about a year and a half later; my first location as General Manager was an old GCC Twin that Mann Theatres was operating. It was on my first day as General Manager that I was told that management would be running the projectors; this was the first time I had ever done it so it was a crash course.

What’s the best part of your Job? Do you have any memorable experiences that you would like to share?
Today, as Controller for Regency Theatres, I am involved in many different aspects of the business and that is just what I love. I enjoy helping the field with whatever they need and I also enjoy the camaraderie of our Corporate Office and District Manager teams. I moved towards the financial side while running my own movie theatre chain, which I had for about five years.

 Jim (center) met Dennis Mahaney and John LaCaze while working at Mann Theatres. They shared a love of the outdoors and to this day remain lifelong friends and hiking buddies.
I think it takes a great deal of endurance and teamwork to keep up the demands and fast pace of our industry and as a result, many of my coworkers throughout the years have become friends. As for memorable experiences, wow, who doesn’t have a long list in motion picture exhibition? Working for Mann, it was always fun being involved with the Hollywood and Westwood Premieres and Hand & Footprint ceremonies at the Chinese Theatre. Regency Theatres operates the historic Village and Bruin Theatres so it’s still exciting to see which movies will premiere in Westwood. I enjoyed moving around, running nine locations as General Manager over the years, enabling me to move to different cities and states. I still run into old employees in the strangest places. As District Manager, I moved to the East Coast for a short stint, then on to Utah to run my own theatres; I love California so I’m happy to be back.

What is your fondest movie theatre memory?
Again, there are many, but I think my fondest would have to be at Union Square 6, the first location I worked. Remembering the staff, movie promotions, and fun times always puts a smile on my face.

How old were you when you went to your first movie? Do you remember the theatre and the city?
My earliest memory was at 6, seeing Fiddler on the Roof with my family. I loved the crowd and was mesmerized by the enormous old movie theatre, which was near my hometown in New Jersey. My fondest movie theatre memories are from my early teenage years as we went to the movies most weekends. We had a General Cinema Twin at our local mall and my friends and I liked to buy tickets to the G or PG movie and then sneak into a rated R movie like Alien or Halloween. Later, much of my weekend social life revolved around Drive-Ins; my sister was a cashier at a local Drive-In so I was able to get passes.

What is your favorite movie of all time? What is it about this movie that stands out for you?
I have many different favorite movies. I love mindless comedies and suspense movies. I love biographies and I must have seen Coal Miner’s Daughter at least six times at our local theatre!

Do you have any industry related hobbies or experiences? Please explain.
I enjoy watching movies on the big screen with an audience. I also like the Café concept where I can try different foods and beer and wine while watching movies.

Jim on a hike.
Do you have any special interests? What are they?
My special interests are travel and as of late, furthering my education, which has been consuming most of my free time. I recently graduated with my MBA and will take the CPA exam within the next year. When I have free time, I’m a big “Do it Yourself” project person around the house. I also love the outdoors; I’ve hiked many trails in the Santa Monica Mountains as well as all over the western US, and have made the most of everywhere I’ve lived. Today, I live at the beach and work on the edge of the Santa Monica Mountains so I get the best of both.

What does being a member of NATO of CA/NV mean to you?
It is comforting being a NATO member because we know there are many people working to protect our business interests at many levels.

Of all the resources that the Association offers (seminars, scholarships, email advisories, etc.) which is most useful for you?
The email advisories are particularly useful for our HR, Payroll, and Accounting Departments to help keep us up to date with changing legislative issues, policies, ordinances, and tax laws.