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Rave Cinemas taps former Blockbuster chief as new chairman

August 18, 2011 |  1:15 pm

Rave antioco
Rave Cinemas has tapped former Blockbuster chief John F. Antioco as the company’s new chairman in the latest management shake-up at the country’s fifth-largest theater chain.

Antioco, who joined the Rave board in February, succeeds Charles Moss, who will remain the second largest investor in the Dallas-based theater chain and a member of the board of directors. Antioco led Blockbuster for nearly a decade, presiding over a period of rapid growth and, later, widening losses. He was replaced by James W. Keyes in 2007 as the chain -- now owned by Dish Network -- struggled for survival.

Antioco's career in the retail and restaurant business also included various jobs at 7-Eleven and Taco Bell, where he was a chief executive.

Rave owns or manages 61 theaters and 920 screens nationwide, including the multiplex in Los Angeles formerly known as The Bridge.

The board appointment comes nearly four months after Rave named former Wal-Mart and AMC executive Rolando B. Rodriguez as chief executive, replacing Tom Stephenson Jr., who founded Rave in 1999.

Stephenson was credited with Rave's rapid growth, including its 2009 acquisition of 33 theaters from National Amusements Inc., the company run by Shari Redstone, daughter of media mogul Sumner Redstone.

Stephenson abruptly resigned from the company late last year. Stephenson's departure stemmed from disagreements with the private equity firm TowerBrook Capital Partners, which became the largest investor in Rave following the National Amusements acquisition, said a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak about it.

Representatives of Rave declined to comment.

"Rave is well positioned to continue leading innovation in the industry and I am looking forward to working closely with Rolando and his team,'' Antioco said in a statement.

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-- Richard Verrier 

Photo: Rave Motion Pictures, the nation's fifth-largest theater chain. Credit: Allison Smith

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