Campbell to Receive 2015 NATO Marquee Award

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Thu, 02/05/2015 - 11:54 -- Nick Dager

The National Association of Theatre Owners will honor Bill Campbell, managing director of the Cinema Buying Group and second-generation theatre owner of Orpheum Theatre in Sheridan, Wyoming with the 2015 NATO Marquee Award during this year’s CinemaCon.

CinemaCon, the official convention of NATO, will be held April 20-23 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Campbell is being singled out by NATO for his unequalled dedication, commitment and service to the motion picture theatre industry. He will receive his industry tribute as part of CinemaCon's State of the Industry: Past, Present and Future presentation on Tuesday morning, April 21.

"Bill Campbell personifies the best aspects of volunteerism. A busy and committed family man and small business operator, Bill nonetheless finds time to lead independent exhibitors through his management of NATO's Cinema Buying Group,” said John Fithian president and CEO of NATO.  “Bill helped hundreds of theater owners survive the digital transition and, by extension, preserved movie-going in small towns all across America. He is now leading independent exhibitors through new programs at the CBG. His positive impact on this industry will be felt for decades to come.” 

Campbell was born in the movie business where his father, Ross Campbell, was a lifelong exhibitor and active member in many of the industry trade associations. With the theatre business being the only full time job he has ever known Campbell began his apprenticeship at the age of eight, popping popcorn in the basement of the WYO Theatre in Sheridan, Wyoming and continued learning about the business throughout his childhood. He earned a BS in Business from Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, while working evenings and weekends as a manager for Theatre Operators. After graduation he returned to his hometown of Sheridan, Wyoming to take over the family business, Orpheum Theatre, which currently has seven screens in two locations. In receiving the 2015 NATO Marquee Award, Bill Campbell and his father Ross become the first father-son exhibition executives to receive the industry’s top award.

As managing director of NATO’s Cinema Buying Group since 2009, Campbell has crisscrossed the country meeting with small-town theater owners, studio executives and equipment manufacturers. But more impressive than the number of frequent flyer miles he has racked up are the number of independent theaters that have converted to digital cinema under the CBG program.

Two hundred twenty-one companies comprising 457 theaters and 2998 screens have made the leap into exhibition’s future. An untold number of moviegoers in small towns and cities across the country will continue to enjoy movies on the big screen because of his efforts.

In addition Campbell is active in his regional NATO, first Colorado/Wyoming NATO and now Rocky Mountain NATO.  He has also been the chairman of the Independent Theater Owners Committee for National NATO.