Gulf States’ chair is ShoWester of Year

Solomon to receive award at opening ceremonies

Gulf States Theaters chairman T.G. “Teddy” Solomon will be feted as ShoWester of the Year at ShoWest 2004, organizers said Wednesday.

Solomon will receive his award at the trade show’s opening ceremonies March 22. ShoWest, which will offer a day of sessions on international exhibition March 23, will run through March 25 at the Paris and Bally hotels in Las Vegas.

ShoWest co-managing director Mitch Neuhauser called Solomon “one of the true greats in the industry, one who has played an instrumental role in its evolution (and) who is truly revered by his peers.”

Solomon and his father founded Gulf States in 1948, based in Mississippi with 60 drive-in theaters from Oklahoma to Florida and several indoor theaters in smaller towns. The circuit was sold to Fuqua Industries in 1972, and Solomon and his children repurchased the theaters in 1975.

In the 1990s, Gulf States built a pair of megaplexes in New Orleans and three other stadium-seat venues in Louisiana. The five theaters were sold last year to AMC Entertainment.

Solomon is a past prexy of the National Assn. of Theater Owners, a board member of the Will Rogers Institute, Foundation of Motion Picture Pioneers, and has served in various capacities on the local and international level of Variety Club Intl. He also has been active in local and regional theater owner associations and worked to establish the first Louisiana Film and Video Commission.

The ShoWester award annually honors an individual “who has throughout his or her career demonstrated a dedication to the betterment of the exhibition industry and its causes.” Signature Theaters prexy Phil Harris received the honor last year.

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