United States

Steve Zuehlke


Steve Zuehlke

A 50 year motion picture theatre industry veteran, the last 35 of which being (and continues) with Cinemark Theatres, the 3rd largest exhibitor in both the US and globally.   As Executive Vice President of Global Theatre Operations, he assisted in the opening of each of Cinemark’s offices and initial theatres throughout Latin America – from Mexico to Argentina, as well as in Japan, Taiwan, England and Canada.  He was the initial Country General Manager for both Cinemark Chile and Cinemark Colombia.  Cinemark has well over 500 complexes in 15 countries.   At the beginning of 2007, after spending a bit over a decade exclusively with duties outside of the US, he returned to head up USA Operations, taking the then company’s Gold Heart’s pin sales from $80,000 / year to the highwater mark of $1.2mm with the 2015 Minions pin.   Steve’s current role with Cinemark is Executive Vice President of External Relations and Special Projects – focusing on Variety, the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation, the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), among other industry related organizations.

Steve is also a member of multiple committees for the movie theatre trade organization (NATO) – including the Advisory Board, chairing the Conventions Committee – working closely with CinemaCon Executive Director Mitch Neuhauser and his team, as well as being on the Government Relations and Operations Committees.  He was a member of the NATO Cinema Reopening Task Force  during the pandemic – which created the Cinema Safe protocol.

Steve has worked with varying charities in varying capacities over the years – including with the North Texas chapter of the American Diabetes Association, as well as The American Cancer Society’s N. Tx chapter of the CEOs Against Cancer.  Steve was named Texan of the year by Tent 17 (Variety – the Children’s Charity of Texas) in 2016, and during the gala celebration, $460,000 was raised to help children of ‘different’ abilities.   He has served on Tent 17’s board for 6 years and as Chairman of the Board from the fall of 2019 thru May of 2023. 

Steve was elected to the Variety – the Children’s Charity International Board of Directors in July 2020, to the position of Vice President in 2022, and President in May 2023.

He holds Political Science and Economics degrees from Colorado State University, has been a cohort advisor for varying MBA teams from the Univ of Chicago – Booth, University of Pennsylvania – Wharton, and guest lecturer at the University of Denver – Daniels schools of business.   He is a multiple Ironman triathlon finisher.

Steve and his wife Sue have 3 adult children and 3 grand children – and feels unimaginably fortunate that all are well – but having an elder sister that is developmentally challenged – has a life-long appreciation for families that struggle for the “Whole” family to ‘fit in’ to society.   He is dedicated to the Variety mission and the Variety family of tents.