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How many years have you worked in the Movie Theatre Industry and how did you first become involved?
I started in 1988 as floor staff with Mann Theaters in Oceanside, California. I accidently stumbled upon the job soon after moving to California from Alaska in order to attend college for a degree in (live) technical theatre. I saw a job opening in the newspaper for a staff position at a theatre. Turned out that it was a movie theatre and not a live theatre. Well I needed a job, so I applied anyway, got hired, and soon after movie theatre life was in my blood.

What’s the best part of your Job? Do you have any memorable experiences that you would like to share?
I love that my job allows me to wear many different hats in a day. It definitely never gets boring or monotonous. I also enjoy the fact that in our business we have new films each week that draw guest to our theatres to be entertained. For me, I love taking a moment to stand in the lobby during the rush and watch as guests come and go with smiles on their face. Knowing that I am part of the team that makes that great movie experience happen is very rewarding.

What is your fondest movie theatre memory?
I have a lot of great memories of going to the movies with different groups of friends during my high school years but I specifically remember one time when some friends and I were watching a 1980’s Tristar film. You may remember the old Tristar film logo opening, it was a Pegasus that comes on screen and then proceeds to jump over the logo. Just at the right moment my friend yelled out, to a full auditorium, “Look, it’s a boy”. Needless to say the place fell apart in laughter. To this day, whenever I see the Tristar logo on the front of a film I think back to that moment.

How old were you when you went to your first movie? Do you remember the theatre and the city?
I have vague memories of being in the back of my parent’s car at the Fireweed Drive-In in Anchorage, Alaska for a showing of Blazing Saddles but my strongest memory is from when I was 10 standing in line to see the original Star Wars at the Polar Twin Theatre. Seeing that opening iconic shot with the Star Destroyer was life changing.

What is your favorite movie of all time? What is it about this movie that stands out for you?
I have so many films that make the cut. Star Wars, The 5th Element, The LOTR series, the list could go on for pages. Let’s just say my favorite film is whatever I am watching so long as it’s compelling and it transports me away to a new world that is carefully crafted with its own history. I enjoy being able to think about a story line and how it fits into an imagined world even after I have left the auditorium.

Do you have any industry related hobbies or experiences? Please explain.
I have been collecting promotional movie buttons since the early 90’s. It is something to look back over the collection and see some of the cool ways studios marketed their films. One of the cool things about this hobby was meeting and trading with other folks in the industry who also collected pins and buttons. In the last few years promotional buttons for films have become harder to come by for me so if anyone is looking to trade some newer buttons for older they can always reach out to me.

The Rubio family.
Natalie, Nikki, Allison, and Damon.
Do you have any special interests that you would like to share?
I enjoy camping and hiking and any opportunity to get some fresh air for a few hours to help counter-balance all the time spent inside.

What does being a member of NATO of CA/NV mean to you?
NATO brings me the opportunity to better understand some of the common shared challenges and best practices going on in our industry through networking with other members.

Of all the resources that the Association offers (seminars, scholarships, email advisories, etc.) which is most useful for you?
I enjoy attending the Fall and Spring Seminars. They give me a chance to stay in touch with other folks in exhibition and to help me prepare for the upcoming slate of films.