By Adam Clement
For the latest installment of our Exhibitor Profile Series, we were able to get in touch with George Solomon, CEO of Southern Theatres, LLC.
Having made several theatre acquisitions and even selling some of his own throughout his long career, Solomon is a true veteran of the exhibition industry. Over the years he has carried out his family’s name in his work and he currently owns theatres in eight states.
Solomon took the time out of his day to answer our questions about the industry as well as his own personal taste in movies.
How many years have you been in the exhibition industry?
“All my life. My family has been in the business since the’30s. My father, T.G. Solomon, started with Gulf States. [He] was considered a pioneer in the drive-in business in the late ’40s and ’50s."
How did you get started in the business?
"Like my dad, I always wanted to work in the business; it was a family business."
Do you remember the first movie you saw in theatres?
"(Laughs) I really cannot. I’ve gone to movies all my life."
What is your favorite movie of all-time?
What are your fondest memories of working in the exhibition industry?
"Several. Reopening an old theater in downtown Bogalusa in Louisiana in 1973, opening a new twin in that town in 1974; I suppose selling in 1986 to United Artists, selling in 2002 to AMC."
As a theatre owner, how do you deal with competition from bigger chains?
"We don’t have a lot of competition. We’re generally far enough away from others, even in the same city, that we don’t really need to worry about that."
How do you market to your customers?
"We try to sell at a lower price than the national average. We pride our theaters on being maintained cleaner and well-kept."
What movies are you looking forward to seeing in the future?
“I’d say the 3D movies in general, Disney’s
coming this Thanksgiving season and Dreamworks’
Monsters vs. Aliens
due out next March.”