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Who was Max Fried?

In 1939, 29 bookers from film companies and theater chains formed the Motion Picture Bookers Club. Max Fried was president from 1956-57 and again in 1965 and chaired 22 of the group’s theater parties, with proceeds going to charity. When industry interest in the dinners began to lag, Fried was among those who came up with the idea of presenting a young actor with a Star of Tomorrow award. After “The Graduate’s” Dustin Hoffman was named the first recipient, the annual dinners became a must on the show-business calendar. In later years, the popular Fried was in charge of selling raffle tickets.

Fried began at Warner Bros. and its Vitagraph Pictures in October 1927 at the age of 17 — a few days after the release of “The Jazz Singer” — and a year later was promoted to booker. After 14 years with the studio, he worked at Century Theatres and buying and booking chain Liggett-Florin. In 1975, he became sole owner of Maxi Cinema Enterprises, which booked films for independent theaters. After serving the MPC Organization for over 70 years, Max Fried died Nov. 8th, 2009 in Malboro, N.J. at the age of 99, leaving a rich legacy and lasting philanthropic footprint on film exhibition and distribution communities for future generations.

Past Honorees 

Max Fried

2023 - Robert Smerling & Ellen Cotter (Reading International)

2022 - Pat Gonzalez (Paramount Pictures)

2020/2021 - no recipients

2019 - Kip Smiley Jr. (Comprehensive Film Booking)

2018 - Chris Aronson (20th Century Fox)

2017 - Bob Lenihan (AMC Theatres)

2016 - Steve and Lisa Bunnell (Regal and Landmark Theatres)

2015 - Rolando Rodriguez (Marcus Theatres)

2014 - Frank Carroll (Warner Brothers)

2013 - George Levitt (National Amusements)

2012 - Craig Zeltner (Clearview Cinemas)

2011 - Charley Moss (BowTie Cinemas)

2010 - Richie Fay (Summit Entertainment)

2009 - John Lundin

2008 - Hank Lightstone (Muvico Theatres)

2007 - Rory Bruer (Sony Pictures)

2006 - Phil Fortune (Walt Disney Pictures)

2004 - Nick Carpou (Universal Pictures)

2003 - Steve Rappaport (Paramount Pictures)

2002 - Jeff Goldstein (Warner Brothers)

2001 - David Tuckerman (New Line Cinemas)

2000 - Pat Nataro (Sony Pictures)

1999 - Chuck Viane (Walt Disney Pictures)

1998 - Eric Lomis (MGM/UA)

1997 - Dan Fellman (Warner Brothers)

1996 - Tom Sherak (20th Century Fox)

1995 - Fred Mound (Universal Pictures)

1994 - Wayne Lewellen (Paramount Pictures)

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