ShoWest honors William J. Stembler

ShoWester shines at confab

William J. Stembler isn’t kidding when he says “exhibition’s in my blood.” The chairman and CEO of Georgia Theater Co. is the third generation of his family to be involved in the biz.

“My grandfather’s first theater was a stable he converted, back in the silent-movie era, and then he built theaters around Atlanta,” he recalls. “Then my father ran the business from 1950 until 1986, when we sold to UA.”

Stembler became a VP at United Artist theaters, overseeing the Southeast, before starting his own company in 1988, and opened theaters in Florida and the Carolinas. In 1991, he formed the Georgia Theater Co., and bought 50 screens back from United Artists. Since then, the company has grown to become one of the 20 largest circuits in the U.S., with 272 screens in 27 locations and 10 more to open soon.

“We’re still small compared to the major three circuits, but I don’t think we need to be much bigger,” he says. “I prefer to concentrate on Georgia, where our offices are, and I like to have mid-sized markets where I can have a better feel for what’s going on.”

Stembler, however, keeps his eye on the future. “We’re currently converting our whole circuit to digital,” he says. “It’s the future.”

More Film

  • Curse of La Llorana

    Film News Roundup: Horror Movie Re-Titled 'The Curse of La Llorona' for Spring Release

    William J. Stembler isn’t kidding when he says “exhibition’s in my blood.” The chairman and CEO of Georgia Theater Co. is the third generation of his family to be involved in the biz. “My grandfather’s first theater was a stable he converted, back in the silent-movie era, and then he built theaters around Atlanta,” he […]

  • Brad Pitt Leonardo Dicaprio

    Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio Turned Down 'Brokeback Mountain,' Says Gus Van Sant

    William J. Stembler isn’t kidding when he says “exhibition’s in my blood.” The chairman and CEO of Georgia Theater Co. is the third generation of his family to be involved in the biz. “My grandfather’s first theater was a stable he converted, back in the silent-movie era, and then he built theaters around Atlanta,” he […]

  • Joaquin Phoenix The Joker

    Joaquin Phoenix's 'Joker' Movie Gets Release Date

    William J. Stembler isn’t kidding when he says “exhibition’s in my blood.” The chairman and CEO of Georgia Theater Co. is the third generation of his family to be involved in the biz. “My grandfather’s first theater was a stable he converted, back in the silent-movie era, and then he built theaters around Atlanta,” he […]

  • Quentin Tarantino

    Quentin Tarantino's Manson Murders Movie Moves Up Two Weeks

    William J. Stembler isn’t kidding when he says “exhibition’s in my blood.” The chairman and CEO of Georgia Theater Co. is the third generation of his family to be involved in the biz. “My grandfather’s first theater was a stable he converted, back in the silent-movie era, and then he built theaters around Atlanta,” he […]

  • Destan Arslanoski Stunt Performer

    Stunt Performers Say There's Not Enough Being Done to Address Risks of the Job

    William J. Stembler isn’t kidding when he says “exhibition’s in my blood.” The chairman and CEO of Georgia Theater Co. is the third generation of his family to be involved in the biz. “My grandfather’s first theater was a stable he converted, back in the silent-movie era, and then he built theaters around Atlanta,” he […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content