Notable Minority Executives: Rolando Rodriguez

Chairman, president and CEO of Marcus Theatres

  • Category: Notable Minority Executives
  • Number of years working in your current industry: 40
  • Undergrad degree/university: Eckerd College
  • Graduate degree/university: Rockhurst University

Rolando Rodriguez has always loved an escape to the movies. When his family moved from Cuba to the United States, his first job was as a theater usher, an industry he has left only briefly since.

During the pandemic, Rodriguez has remained at the forefront of the challenges faced by the movie theater industry. He was elected chair of the National Association of Theatre Owners and to the board for the Global Cinema Federation. Rodriguez has helped its 900 U.S. and 1,050 global member companies representing 150,000 diverse people reopen the industry, launch CinemaSafe protocol standards, negotiate with studios, and promote the love of watching movies on the big screen.

At Marcus Theatres, Rodriguez encouraged his team to find new revenue streams (curbside popcorn, Parking Lot Cinema, advanced online ordering) while the company’s 89 theaters across 17 states were closed due to government guidelines.

Within Greater Milwaukee, Rodriguez served as the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) 2020 community co-chair, helping raise more than $11.6 million, including funding to increase access to and inclusion in the arts. He is also an advocate for the Hispanic community, co-founding the Milwaukee Hispanic Collaborative in 2019 and continuing to serve as its board chair.

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin