Yoji Ikushima,managing director of leading Japanese exhibitor Warner Mycal Corporation, hasbeen named ShoWest 2003's International Exhibitor of the Year, it wasannounced today (Jan 14) by Robert Sunshine, chairman of ShoWest operatorSunshine Group Worldwide. Ikushima will receive his award at the InternationalDay Luncheon on Mar 3, the opening day of ShoWest 2003, which runs until Mar 6at the Paris and Bally's Hotels in Las Vegas.

"Under MrIkushima's dedication and insight, the roll-out of Warner Mycal'smultiplex operation in Japan was achieved in record time and it is ourprivilege to be able to recognise his outstanding accomplishments,"Sunshine said in a statement.

Ikushima graduatedfrom Chuo University's international management program in 1964 andpromptly attended graduate school in California, where he majored in businessmanagement. He joined Mycal, an expanding Japanese retail company, in 1970,serving in a diverse range of management roles. He became managing director ofMycal Shochiku, a joint venture partner in film exhibition, in 1996, and twoyears later was appointed managing director of Warner Mycal, a joint venturebetween Warner Bros and Mycal.

When he acceptedthe job at Warner Mycal the exhibitor operated 13 theatres with 93 screens.Four years later it had 30 venues with 236 screens. Warner Mycal currentlymaintains 43 cinemas with 329 screens. Ikushima credits the diligentapplication of UK management know-how for the success of Warner Mycaloperations in Japan, where 28 million people - or 23% of the entire population- visit Warner Mycal theatres every year.