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Stephenson stays ahead of the curve

ShowEast Honoree: Show 'E' Award

No dirge for 35mm prints | Surprise revival for 35mm 3D
Honorees
Fernando Soriano | Branden Miller | Thomas Stephenson | Todd Vradenburg | Mauricio Duran

Staying ahead of the curve is second nature to Rave’s Thomas Stephenson.

As prexy, CEO and founder of the pioneering all-stadium seating circuit, Stephenson, 55, has spearheaded the 10-year-old company’s expansion into the latest cutting-edge technology. Rave is the first major exhib to go completely digital.

“While other people were thinking about 3D technology, he was installing it,” says Walt Disney Motion Pictures distribution prexy Chuck Viane, who will be presenting Viane with his Show “E” kudo.

After acquiring National Amusements Theatres in December, Rave upped its network to 61 theaters and 918 screens in 20 states. The Dallas-based company now ranks as the fifth-largest U.S. exhib in terms of box office gross and screen count.

“We expect revenues of nearly $500 million this year, a record for the company,” says Stephenson.

Rave is now in the process of digitizing all its National Amusements acquisitions. “They’ll be ready by November, just in time for the latest ‘Harry Potter,’ ” says Stephenson.

Stephenson finds time to remain active in various nonprofit and charitable institutions, including Dignitas, the U. of Virginia, Will Rogers and Variety Club.

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