Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cinemark Holdings, Inc. 

Cinemark Holdings, Inc.  (NYSE:CNK) is the parent company of the Century 16 Theater (since 2006) where Little Jimmy Holmes went to relax and recreate. Cinemark owns 448 theaters with 5,096 screens and he (I use the personal pronoun because corporations are legally persons like you and me, but are they girls or boys or something else?) has a very lucrative presence in South America.

Cinemark was the first theater company to introduce stadium seating in their theaters (1997) which led to a long legal struggle with people confined to wheelchairs who were placed in an area close in front of the screen which forced these customers to look directly and uncomfortably up. They sued on the grounds of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Cinemark found a friendly Federal Judge in Cleveland who initially ruled in his favor, stating that the Act required that the handicapped merely  have a view of the screen, not a good view of the screen.  Cinemark finally settled with the Justice Department after seven years of struggle and he agreed to retrofit his cinemas to allow handicapped people to actually see the screen (2005). Click here for a link to the resolution of the case.

An ebullient Alan Stock visits the New York Stock Exchange last year.
 [I don't believe the place was named after him.]

Cinemark's recently retired (February of this year after 26 years with the company)  CEO, Alan Stock, (and what a golden parachute he has!) donated $9,999 in 2008 to the successful Proposition 8 in California, which banned and overturned gay marriage. COO Tim Warner, a sixteen year company man,  had these comforting words for us when he replaced Alan as CEO:

"Throughout our careers at Cinemark, Alan and I have worked closely to enhance the theatergoing experience while driving domestic and international growth. We thank Alan for his outstanding contributions to the company and for his initiatives to promote high standards across the industry and strong relations among its various constituents."

Alan's executive profile at Bloomberg is here.  
Unsurprisingly, Mr. Stock is a Mormon and a Romney supporter.
 He visited his alma mater last fall. 
Here is a glowing story written in 2008 and published by the Deseret News on young Alan's love of the cinema. 
In this story Alan says,   "I realized that while we don't make the movies, we can make sure the customers are comfortable and can see and hear well. So, we do absolutely everything possible to create a great entertainment experience."  It seems he had forgotten about Cinemark's  long effort, when he was Cinemark USA's president, to keep handicapped customers from seeing well.

Goldman Sachs rated Cinemark Holdings at "Neutral" yesterday in the wake of the shootings, but most of their concerns had to do with the shrinking attendance at theaters domestically. Goldman suggested that this was somewhat mitigated by his Latin American business.

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