Greg Rutkowski, Top Movie Theater Executive, Dies at 64

 

Greg Rutkowski, who introduced numerous marketing and expansion initiatives at AMC Theatres during his two-decade stay with the exhibition chain, has died. He was 64.

Rutkowski, who worked for AMC from 1975 to 1995, died Nov. 28 in Los Angeles from pancreatic cancer, a family spokeswoman said.

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His move to bring AMC’s Santa Monica 7 Theatres to the Third Street Promenade in the late 1980s helped revitalize the shopping district and provided the impetus for other theaters and upscale retail stores to move into the area. He also was responsible for opening the company’s flagship theater complex in Century City.

Some of his many marketing initiatives included launching the “Silence is Golden” program; introducing the mascot “Clip” for the company’s feature presentation trailers; and rolling out the industry's first wide-scale guest loyalty program, the AMC MovieWatcher Club. He introduced the first cupholder armrest in theaters.

In 2007, Rutkowski and Jonathan Dern co-founded The Bigger Picture, a pioneer in the development and introduction of digitally delivered content and films for theaters. A year later, The Bigger Picture was sold to Access Integrated Technologies, now Cinedigm Digital.

Rutkowski oversaw all site selection for Sundance Cinemas when that chain launched in 2003. At Century Theatres, he expanded that circuit with an additional 525 screens in 11 states within two years.

Since 2008, Rutkowski owned and operated Digital Attractions, a marketing and distribution company for independent and specialized film.

Survivors include his daughter Jennifer, granddaughters Orly and Nya, sisters Gerry and Mary, three nieces and one nephew.

A memorial service will be held at 9 a.m. on Dec. 14 at the Landmark Theatre in West Los Angeles. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer or the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation.

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