Exhibition executive Greg Rutkowski, a key player in the expansion of AMC Theaters during his 20 years at the circuit, died Nov. 28 from pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles. He was 64.
During his tenure at AMC, the company debuted one of the first North American megaplexes, Dallas’ Grand 24, and launched its first overseas cinema, the Milton Keynes Pointe 10 in England. He was also integral to the exhibitor’s efforts in Los Angeles, where it opened its flagship theater in Century City as well as the high-volume Burbank 10. His marketing initiatives included rolling out the industry’s first wide-scale guest loyalty program, the AMC MovieWatcher Club.
After leaving AMC, Rutkowski held a number of senior management positions both in exhibition and distribution. Rutkowski and Jonathan Dern co-founded the Bigger Picture, a pioneer in the development and introduction of digitally delivered content for theatrical exhibition. In 2008 the company was sold to Access Integrated Technologies, now Cinedigm Digital.
Earlier in his career, Rutkowski was exec VP-chief operating officer at the newly launched Sundance Cinemas, overseeing all site selection, and exec VP of corporate development at Century Theaters, where he spearheaded the addition of 525 screens in 11 states.
Most recently, Rutkowski owned and operated Digital Attractions, a marketing and distribution company for independent and specialized film.
Rutkowski graduated from the U. of Missouri and held an MBA from the U. of Missouri Kansas City.
He is survived by a daughter; two granddaughters; two sisters; three nieces; and one nephew.
A memorial service for friends and family will be held at the Landmark Theater in West Los Angeles on Friday, Dec. 14, at 9 a.m.
Donations may be made to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer (www.lustgarten.org) or the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation (www.wrpioneers.org).