News: ShoWest 2003
Philip Harris III, founder of Signature Theatres, named "ShoWester
of The Year"
Los Angeles, December 2, 2002—ShoWest 2003
takes place Monday, March 3rd through Thursday, March 6th at the
Bally’s and Paris Hotels in Las Vegas. Robert Sunshine,
Vice President of the VNU Expositions Film Group/Sunshine Group
Worldwide, the company that manages ShoWest, made the announcement.
This year, ShoWest has named Philip Harris III, founder of Signature
Theatres and current Vice Chair of the Finance Committee at NATO,
“ShoWester of the Year.” The award will be given out
at the annual award presentation scheduled to take place at the
opening ceremony of ShoWest, Tuesday, March 4, 2003.
“ShoWest 2002 was a great success and we are excited about
what we have planned for ShoWest 2003,” said Robert Sunshine.
“Having come off a fantastic ShowEast, we are thrilled to
soon announce the exciting events, films, guest speakers, sponsors
and celebrity honorees we have in store for ShoWest 2003,”
With regard to the “ShoWester of the Year” Award,
Robert Sunshine said, “Phil Harris has quickly emerged as
one of the brightest and most respected exhibitors in the country.
The rapid and successful expansion of Signature Theatres is a
testament to Phil’s knowledge and expertise of the business
of exhibition, which is why we are pleased to name him ShoWester
of the Year.”
The ShoWester award each year honors an individual who has throughout
his or her career demonstrated a dedication to the betterment
of the exhibition industry and its causes. Last year, Kurt Hall
received the ShoWester award. Previous winners include: Michael
Campbell, Raymond and Joseph Syufy, Bruce Corwin, Jerome Forman,
Bill Kartozian, George Kerasotes, Barrie Lawson Loeks, Lee Roy
Mitchell, Henry Plitt, D. Barry Reardon, Sumner Redstone and Paul
As a third generation exhibitor, Harris began his exhibition career
in 1968 as an IATSE union projectionist in family-owned theatres
in Davis, California. In 1982, Harris purchased a family business
with partner Doug Stephens, but sold it in 1985 to form what would
become Signature Theatres in 1988. The business rapidly expanded
and by 1995, Harris had increased the company’s initial
22 screens in three sites to a total of 208 screens in 21 sites
scattered throughout California, Hawaii and Montana. Signature
Theatres is currently the 23rd largest exhibitor in North America
by screen count. The company will add 89 screens in the next two
years, and have plans to build five new mega-stadium complexes
and screen additions to two of its existing facilities.
Harris received a BA in Political Science and Economics, as well
as a law degree from the University of California, Davis. He is
a member of the California Bar Association and actively practiced
law until 1987, when he retired to concentrate his efforts on
the exhibition industry. He has been a member of the NATO Board
of Directors since 1990 and currently serves as Vice Chair of
the Finance Committee and Vice Chairman-elect of the Association.
Harris has also been on the Board of Directors of NATO California/Nevada
for the past 20 years, and served as its Chairman for the last
five years. He previously served on the Board of Directors of
the Northern California Variety Club Children’s Charity
Tent and the Motion Picture Pioneers.
Celebrating its 29th year, ShoWest is the world’s largest
motion picture industry convention. Each year, ShoWest attracts
delegates from more than 45 countries in North and South America,
Europe, Asia and Australia. ShoWest was founded by the National
Association of Theatre Owners of California and Nevada, and the
2001 show was the first managed by The VNU Expositions Film Group,
a division of VNU Business Media.
For more info, visit www.showest.com