New Line Cinema, the company that distributed “The Player,” has hired the real Larry Levy as its distribution arm’s Western regional manager. The move comes at a time when New Line is about to unleash the most ambitious slate of summer films in its history.

Levy, who previously was General Cinema’s Western regional VP, will report to Al Shapiro, New Line Distribution’s exec VP and general sales manager. His duties include selling, settling and collecting on New Line Distribution’s accounts.

Levy also will be in charge of all aspects of the company’s Western regional office, which includes such territories as Los Angeles, Denver, Seattle and San Francisco.

According to Shapiro, it was Levy’s background as a film buyer for Pacific Theatres and as a branch manager for Warner Bros. and Buena Vista that made him an asset to New Line.

“He has the same background as (distribution president) Mitch Goldman and me, ” Shapiro said. “He’s worked for theaters and studios. He’s from both sides of the fence. We think that helps to make us smarter.

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