Dan Harkins to receive annual Show 'E' Award


Dan Harkins, owner and CEO of Harkins Theatres, will be honored with the 2012 “Show ‘E’ Award” on Nov. 8 at ShowEast’s final-night banquet and awards ceremony at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Florida. The annual award is presented to a cinema industry member for distinguished achievement and dedication to the business.

“Having literally grown up in a movie theatre, Dan has spent his entire career expanding, modernizing and enhancing the moviegoing experience of Harkins Theatres as well as innovating special programs and contributing to charitable causes,” stated ShowEast managing director Robert Sunshine.

Harkins took over the operations of Harkins Theatres in 1974 while still a junior at Arizona State University upon the death of his father, Dwight “Red” Harkins. Over the next three decades, Harkins Theatres would become known for its innovative programming, digital sound systems, plush rocking chair seats, grand lobbies, and extra-large gourmet snack bars. The circuit currently has more than 400 screens.

During the ’70's and ’80s, Dan Harkins always looked for ways to make moviegoing an event. His introduction of midnight movies, conducting the world's longest-running 3D film festival (over a year) and creation of the popular and pocketbook-friendly Loyalty Cup and t-shirt program are just a few examples. In order to expand the variety of films available to local movie connoisseurs, he created Arizona's first foreign and art film program, a Harkins tradition that continues to this day. The renovated Valley Art Theatre and the Camelview are dedicated to showing these special releases.

Harkins is an unprecedented three-time recipient of the Showman of the Year Award. The Phoenix Film Festival honored him with their Visionary Award in 2010. He's also received the 2007 Humanitarian of the Year Award from the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation and the 2003 Leadership Award from the Arizona Theatre Operators Association. But perhaps more important to Dan are the awards his theatres garner every year from moviegoers: Best Place to Watch a Movie, Best Programming and Best Movie Snacks, to name a few.

Over the past 20 years, Harkins Theatres has helped set a new standard for charitable giving in the Western U.S., benefitting hundreds of charities and nonprofit organizations through donations, benefit premieres, screenings, proceeds from loyalty t-shirt sales, holiday film gift bow sales and public-service announcements on its movie screens. The company has helped many schools and organizations raise millions of dollars. Harkins Theatres has worked with dozens of groups, including Boys & Girls Clubs in Metro Phoenix, Oklahoma City and Denver, March of Dimes, Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Alzheimer's Association, Phoenix Children's Hospital, The Children's Center, Citizens Caring for Children, The Humane Society and many more.

Past recipients of the “Show ‘E’ Award” include Jim Amos, Thomas W. Stephenson, Jr., Stewart Harnell, Larry Collins, David Tuckerman, Bill Stembler, Nick Carpou, Mark Gaines, Chuck Viane, Herman Stone, Jeff Blake, Bruce Snyder and Mike Campbell.

ShowEast 2012 will feature screenings of upcoming major holiday films, sponsored events, informative seminars and a tradeshow. Roughly 1,300 members of the motion picture industry are expected to attend.