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How many years have you worked in the Movie Theatre Industry and how did you first become involved?
Odd as it sounds, I’ve been working in theatres since I was ten. I started volunteering at that age in my hometown of Montgomery, Alabama at a nonprofit film society called the Capri. Miraculously, it is still operating today, having been sustained through sheer force of will despite endless challenges. I became aware at that young age of how richly a movie theatre could contribute to a community. I later became a paid employee there, working as a projectionist. Then I ran the student theatre in college and programmed the film series. After I moved to Los Angeles, I quickly found my way to Landmark and never looked back.

Ross with Al Gore, who appeared for
multiple Q&As for
An Inconvenient Sequel.
What’s the best part of your Job? Do you have any memorable experiences that you would like to share?
Landmark has been my second family for a long time, and I have formed so many relationships from that time that I cherish. In terms of my current theatre, I love that it is one of the few essential theatres in the country which launches and nurtures specialized films. I feel that, in a very tangible way, we contribute to the success of these films and to the continued life of the theatrical experience. It is also a privilege that so many filmmakers and contributors choose to come to participate in Q&As and events with us.

What is your fondest movie theatre memory?
Not my fondest, probably, but I’m reminded of my first brush with celebrity back when I had just moved to Los Angeles. I was working at our theatre in Beverly Hills at the time. We admitted Mel Brooks & Anne Bancroft and Carl & Estelle Reiner into the lobby early for the next show so that they wouldn’t have to stand outside in the heat. I was in the booth threading the film and saw that Ms. Bancroft was in the auditorium picking up trash and sweeping alongside the staff. I called downstairs and asked, “Why is Anne Bancroft cleaning the theatre?” “She insisted on helping us,” I was told. “This never would have happened in Montgomery,” I thought.

How old were you when you went to your first movie?
Do you remember the theatre and the city?

I saw a few when I was very tiny, but I remember more specifically when movie-going became part of my life. My parents, who didn’t go to movies much back then, went two weeks in a row without me, I believe to see Terms of Endearment and Yentl. By the third week I decided I wanted to go too, and I think we went to see a film called In Search of a Golden Sky. That title is long forgotten, but my love of going to the movies was off and running.

Ross with Wallace Shawn.
What is your favorite movie of all time? What is it about this movie that stands out for you?
My Dinner with Andre, because I came across it at a perfect moment as a teenager, and it expanded my idea of not only what movies could do, but also what life could be like. I’m still ridiculously geeky when it comes to anything involving Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn. We have celebrities at my theatre all the time, and usually I don’t bat an eye. But I was trembling like a leaf when I met Wallace Shawn recently at a staging of one his plays downtown. My boyfriend had to drag me kicking and screaming over to him.

Ross next to 70mm test film.
Do you have any industry related hobbies or experiences? Please explain.
I volunteer with several film societies and organizations, and take every opportunity to get my hands on film whenever possible. I sometimes become nostalgic for my days as a projectionist. Happily, Landmark still projects film from time to time, such as our recent 70mm run of Dunkirk.

What does being a member of NATO of CA/NV mean to you?
I’m proud to be part of NATO because it’s at the forefront of preserving and protecting the theatrical experience. I also greatly appreciate how the organization gives back to its members, particularly through the scholarship program, which has been a great asset to a number of our staff through the years.

Of all the resources that the Association offers (seminars, scholarships, email advisories, etc.) which is most useful for you?
In addition to the above, we have held some NATO events at my theatre, and it’s been great getting to learn more about all that NATO and Milt and Charlene do. In particular, it’s been an honor spending time with Milt and hearing some of his stories from the industry. He has been a leading champion for us throughout his career and we all owe him a debt of gratitude for that.