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Cinemark Founder Lee Roy Mitchell to Step Down From Board After 40 Years

The 85-year-old’s son Kevin will succeed him

Cinemark founder Lee Roy Mitchell will step down from that company’s board of directors after a 40-year tenure. He has served on the board since its inception, transitioning from executive chairman to a member of the board in 2022. Lee Roy and his wife, Tandy, founded Cinemark in 1984. The theater chain is now a global company with nearly 6,000 screens across 16 countries.

During his time in the industry, Lee Roy Mitchell, 85, served on the executive committee of the board of directors for the National Association of Theater Owners for 20 years.

He will be succeeded on the board by Lee Roy’s son, Kevin Mitchell. The 54-year-old Mitchell founded and served as CEO of ShowBiz Cinemas — which features bowling and movies under the same roof — before selling his interest in the company in December 2021.

The younger Mitchell also served on multiple boards, including as former chairman for Variety the Children’s Charity of Texas, as an advisory board member for the National Association of Theatre Owners and Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation, as well as a board member for Chuck Norris’ Kickstart Kids.

“Tandy and I founded Cinemark nearly 40 years ago and could not be more proud of the company it is today,” the elder Mitchell said. “Our strategic vision was to build a leading global cinema circuit, and I am humbled to have worked alongside such an incredible leadership team and Board to execute upon that vision.”

He further noted that his successor on the board was “a natural successor given his considerable industry knowledge and experience gleaned over the past three decades. I am confident that Cinemark will continue to lead the industry and succeed in progressing their strategic priorities under the strong leadership of the management team and board.”

“Lee Roy has been highly influential over the years, not only on Cinemark, but the entire exhibition industry,” stated Cinemark Chairman Carlos Sepulveda. “His entrepreneurial spirit, fervor for theatrical moviegoing, and passion for people have helped differentiate the company and guide its strategic direction. On behalf of the board and the entire Cinemark team, we are immensely grateful to Lee Roy for his leadership and tremendous value added over the years, and we will work diligently to continue to position the company he founded for long-term success.”