Cineplex chief Jacob named '08 ShoWester

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Ellis Jacob, president and CEO of Toronto-based Cineplex Entertainment, was honored Tuesday as ShoWester of the Year at the convention's opening ceremonies at Las Vegas' Paris hotel.

In presenting the award, Universal distribution president Nikki Rocco said that with his "decades of commitment to motion pictures," Jacob "changed exhibition in North America."

Recalling meeting the exhibitor at a previous edition of ShoWest when she was promoting "Field of Dreams" with its mantra of "If you build it, they will come," she said, "I think Ellis took those words to heart."

From 1987-1998, Jacob held various positions within the Cineplex Odeon Corp., where he ultimately held the post of COO.

In 1999, he co-founded Galaxy Entertainment and set about building stadium-seating theaters in small and mid-size towns.

Galaxy and the Canadian assets of Cineplex Odeon merged in 2003, and two years later Cineplex Galaxy bought Viacom's Famous Players chain.

As Ellis reported to the convention crowd, he now oversees 1,275 screens in 130 theaters, representing more than 65% of the Canadian market.
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