Title: Executive Vice President of Filmed Entertainment
Company: Cineplex Entertainment
Michael Kennedy is Executive Vice President, Filmed Entertainment at Cineplex Entertainment.
The following story is based on true events:
Michael Kennedy first started being paid to be in the movie business in 1974 ($1.65 an hour to be exact) as an usher at the Centre Twin Cinemas in Hamilton. The first (and only) major release that he ripped tickets for was The Way We Were. The movie played for 9 months and has tragically scarred him ever since.
One day after a particularly long string of bad movies he asked the theatre manager “Our movies kinda suck! Who decides what we play in the theater?” The manager responded with “some asshole in Toronto”. It was at this point that Kennedy decided…he wanted to be that asshole.
After a college career highlighted by loose women and bad drugs Michael found a job in the early 80’s at Astral Films in Toronto. He booked movies into small towns in Ontario for 20th Century Fox and Columbia Pictures and drank quarts of beer with Jim Murphy (one of the greatest film men of his day) at the Wheat Sheaf Tavern. Three years later he was capriciously promoted to National Sales Representative for Astral Video. The strange and exotic home video business was in its infancy and Michael instantly took a loathing to it.
Kennedy left Astral to join Norstar Releasing as General Sales Manager, where he drank pints of beer with Peter Simpson; one of Canada’s greatest Producers (well he made Prom Night) and discussed at length how one day they would make the great Canadian movie together. At the time Norstar was the biggest distributor of art and specialty films in Canada.
This led to a call from Garth Drabinsky who said “Kid, I’ll make you rich!” So, with some reluctance in 1987, Michael left Norstar and began his career at Cineplex Odeon Theatres as a film buyer for art and specialty films. Unfortunately Garth didn’t drink beer. By 1997 he was promoted to Senior Vice President of Film Programming for Canada, mostly because everyone else had been fired, moved on to other things or were in jail. Sensing impending doom at Cineplex, in 1999 he left to join Famous Players, which triggered a career drinking martinis with John Bailey and building round theatres and theatres adorned with massive space ships on the roof.
In 2005, Ellis Jacob, CEO of the newly formed Cineplex Galaxy, in a desperate bid to get Kennedy to return to Cineplex, paid 500 million dollars to buy Famous Players, allowing Michael to return to his rightful place as… that asshole in Toronto, where he sits today.