NATO to salute Dan Harkins with Marquee Award


The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) will honor Dan Harkins, owner and CEO of Harkins Theatres, with the 2014 NATO Marquee Award at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. Harkins will receive the tribute as part of CinemaCon's "State of the Industry: Past, Present and Future" presentation on Tuesday morning, March 25.

"As both a leader and innovator in the theatre industry and his local community, Dan Harkins has blazed a passionate trail for others to follow. His enthusiasm and dedication to enhancing the moviegoing experience for audiences across the Southwest is highly regarded throughout the motion picture theater industry,” said Mitch Neuhauser, CinemaCon managing director. "Dan's service to NATO and his fellow exhibitors is highly commendable and exemplary.”

When Harkins was 21 and a junior at Arizona State University, his father, Red Harkins, passed away, leaving Dan at the helm of Harkins Theatres, now the largest privately owned circuit in the United States. Raised in a movie theatre and having worked every job from janitor to doorman to projectionist, Harkins set about building on his father’s legacy. During the last few decades, he has done just that, dedicating himself to two goals: expanding the Harkins business and enhancing the moviegoing experience. Today, the circuit boasts over 400 screens and is the nation’s fifth-largest theatre chain (measured by box office).

Harkins has served on the NATO board since 1986 and has been a member of NATO's executive board since 2009. He also served as NATO's treasurer for two terms (2006–2009). Harkins was a founding member and officer of the Arizona Theatre Owners Association, formed in 1978, and served as the organization's president and secretary for several terms.

Since 1974, Harkins has received over 120 awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and recently the Show 'E' Award at the 2012 ShowEast Convention. Additionally, he has the distinction of being an unprecedented three-time winner of the National Showman of the Year Award.