Cinemark CEO Forgoes Full Salary, Institutes Deep Employee Pay Cuts

Gabe Ginsberg/WireImage
Mark Zoradi

The circuit, led by Mark Zoradi, operates the third-largest theater chain in the U.S.

Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi and the theater chain's board of directors are forgoing their entire salaries for the time being amid the coronavirus epidemic, while mandating deep pay reductions for all U.S. corporate employees, the company said Monday.

Like Zoradi, top executives working for the country's third-largest theater circuit are voluntarily taking steep pay cuts while maintaining full workloads in order to support the company in this time of crisis, Zoradi wrote in an email to staff.

Other corporate employees will work reduced hours and make no more than 50 percent of their salary. At the same time, they will maintain full benefits. Two weeks ago, hundreds of hourly workers and theater managers at various Cinemark locations were let go or furloughed.

Cinemark is the third-largest theater circuit in the U.S. behind AMC Theatres and Regal. By March 20, it had shut down virtually all of its roughly 350 locations nationwide, alongside other rival venues.

"We are not generating any revenue while theaters are closed, yet still must meet financial and contractual obligations," Zoradi wrote in Monday's note to staff.

"Cinemark’s priority as it navigates through this uncertainty is to ensure that the company will be able to once again open theaters and employ our global team members," he continued. "I look forward to the day in the hopefully not-to-distant future when the Cinemark team can once again welcome guests to enjoy the immersive moviegoing experience we offer at our theaters."

The pay cuts are an attempt to retain as many corporate staff as possible. Cinemark's balance sheet is more stable than its two rivals in terms of debt, providing the circuit some cushion.

Late last week, AMC announced it was instituting a furlough plan for its entire corporate staff, including CEO Adam Aron. (That was in addition to laying off or furloughing more than 26,000 cinema workers and managers.)

Zoardi's note in full is below.

The dramatic global impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), has created a turbulent environment that is changing daily and dramatically affecting everyone. During this time, I am most concerned about the impact this unprecedented situation has had on our Cinemark team members and their families.

Currently, our theaters across the globe are closed, and it is uncertain when they will be able to re-open. We are not generating any revenue while theaters are closed, yet still must meet financial and contractual obligations.

Cinemark’s priority as it navigates through this uncertainty is to ensure that the company will be able to once again open theaters and employ our global team members. I look forward to the day in the hopefully not-to-distant future when the Cinemark team can once again welcome guests to enjoy the immersive moviegoing experience we offer at our theaters.

March 31, 5:10 a.m. An earlier version story incorrectly characterized the status of rank and file employees at various Cinemark locations. THR regrets the error.