Busy Times At NATO:
the 12 years I have been associated with the National
Association of Theatre Owners (eight as counsel, four
as your president), I have never seen a busier time than
now. The exhibition industry and its trade association
confront many challenges and are making tremendous progress
on a multitude of issues. But much more needs to be done.
If you’re one of those In Focus readers who already
participates in NATO as a member and active volunteer – THANK
YOU. If you’re a member and want to become more
active – LET US KNOW. If you read this magazine,
but aren’t yet a member – PLEASE JOIN US
In my private reports to the membership,
and in previous columns in this magazine, I have outlined
activities on many issues. This month, I want to list some
of those areas where more NATO volunteers are needed. If
you’re interested in any of these topics, give us
a call. Your company and your industry will thank you!
Disabled Patron Access. It’s crunch time on the
legal issue of wheelchair seating in stadium-style theatres.
NATO and its member companies are preparing briefs for
the Supreme Court. We’re also negotiating with the
Justice Department and lobbying Capitol Hill. If your company
wants to be involved, send us your lawyers soon! Also,
NATO is working with the Coalition for Movie Captioning
to expand access for the deaf and hard of hearing. We need
more companies to participate in the captioned movie program.
Digital Cinema. With the help of several active exhibitor
representatives and our own technology consultant, NATO
is working with Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) and the
Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE)
to craft the technical specifications for digital cinema.
There are meetings, e-mail reflector discussions, draft
reviews and a host of other activities. We need more input
and focus at this crucial juncture. Contact us to find
out how you can help!
Federal Legislation. Congress is considering legislation
that would permit associations like NATO to offer healthcare
coverage at improved rates to members with fewer than 100
employees. We need letters to your senators and representatives
asking them to support association health care legislation.
Congress is also considering legislation to increase the
federal minimum wage. Write your senators in opposition
now. Contact NATO if you need guidance.
State and Local Legislation. We need
your help at the state and local level if you care about
anti-piracy initiatives, minimum wages, obscenity laws,
ratings regulation, disability requirements, employee regulations
and other issues. Join the state and regional NATO units
and help out!
Theatre Products Purchasing. NATO
volunteers have revitalized the Cinema Buying Group through
with Cinema Solutions. Those of you who remember the CBG
from its earlier incarnation will be pleased to see how
the program has been improved. We recently distributed
an invitation to participate. Sign up and save time and
money in your purchasing efforts! Also, NATO will soon
begin offering some discounted products directly to our
members. The first offering will include employee vests,
shirts and other uniform components. Look for details soon!
Ratings Issues. NATO members serve
on the ratings appeals board. NATO’s ratings compliance
officers meet twice a year. NATO volunteers help with
activities at the Federal
Trade Commission and in Congress. Please participate
in these essential programs.
Movie Piracy. NATO members are developing
new employee policies to combat movie piracy in theatres.
collecting ideas for dissemination and is developing
programs and other materials. We need your creative
ideas and policy examples.
Publications. NATO publishes this
magazine monthly, and includes news stories related to
us your news items!
Employee Training. NATO will be revising
our popular employee training tape series. If you want
with review and
update of the current tapes, let us know!
International Trade. NATO supports
the activities of the Entertainment Industry Council
trade. The EIC
lobbies the White House and Congress in support
of trade policies that decrease movie piracy
tariffs on cinema supplies. NATO members that
should participate in this lobbying effort!
Theatre Security. NATO works with
law enforcement and safety officials to improve security
We maintain a private contact list of company
personnel for the dissemination of emergency
information. Send us
your contact information if you have not done
Issue Updates. On a daily basis,
and collects news reports related to our
industry. We distribute
electronically to the members of the relevant
NATO committees. Thus, one great way to participate
in any or all of these
issues, and to learn the latest, is to attend
meetings and to join NATO’s committees.
Contact us to learn more!