Tag Archives: Harkins Theatres

Photo by Mike Mertes, Az Big Media

Jody Pokorski – Most Influential Women In Commercial Real Estate

Jody Pokorski
Partner and real estate practice leader, Snell & Wilmer
Years in the industry: 30

Jody Pokorski has been behind some of the biggest deals in the Valley. She represented Arizona State University in the State Farm headquarters in Tempe deal that has become the largest office development in the state. A few years ago, her team handled the sale-lease for the University of Phoenix, which became the largest transaction of the year that wasn’t handled by the Arizona State Land Department. Over the last 30 years, she has practiced in the areas of real estate transactions, finance and regulatory matters. Her career accomplishments also include representing a $220M state/federal highway extension and widening project that utilized a public-private partnership structure and the redevelopment of a 4,000-acre former Air Force base into a mixed-use community. One of Pokorski’s colleagues said many of the biggest projects in the Valley wouldn’t be here if not for her.

What is the hardest professional or personal challenge you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?
As a young lawyer, negotiating deals against more senior lawyers was intimidating, but I tried to observe how others approached the process and learn something from each experience.

What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishment?
The ability to look out the window and see so many projects that I have been a part of bringing to fruition.

What is your most memorable deal or project and why?
I have worked on many great projects, but it has been gratifying being a part of several complex deals for ASU, where I am a proud alumni and adjunct professor.

What is your favorite part of your job?
I love finding win-win solutions on challenging deals so that both parties walk away happy.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up and how did that aspiration affect your career?
My undergraduate degree was in psychology, and I often think back to lessons learned in my social and behavioral psych classes.

What is one little-known fact about you?
My first job was at Harkins Theatres; I started working concessions and wound up as a manager.


Historic Harkins at Camelview Gets 21st Century Upgrade

Harkins Theatres announced Thursday that development is underway on a new 14-screen luxury megaplex cinema at Scottsdale Fashion Square. The Scottsdale-based company says the new Camelview at Fashion Square will feature unparalleled luxury amenities and an expanded offering of independent, foreign and art films along with a choice selection of the very best wide release films.

“The Camelview at Fashion Square will be unlike anything that exists in the marketplace today,” said Mike Bowers, President of Harkins Theatres. “Our new theatre will feature modern elegant finishes, unequaled amenities and state-of-the-art technology throughout.”

Highlights of the new theatre include:
§         Reserved seating
§         Harkins Ultimate Lounger™ seats
§         Wall-to-wall curved screens
§         4k digital projection
§         Dolby Atmos object-based 3D sound
§         Expanded menu with elevated food choices, decadent desserts and espresso drinks
§         And the Vérité Lounge, Harkins’ first lobby lounge with a full bar

The theatre lobby will incorporate a modern take on iconic elements from its predecessor and will provide guests with a place to meet, eat and drink before their film.

“Everything about this theater will be the absolute best,” said Dan Harkins, owner of Harkins Theatres.  “I will be one of the most frequent moviegoers at this theater, so I can’t wait for opening day!”

The Camelview at Fashion Square will debut the new Harkins Ultimate Lounger™.  Moviegoers will reserve their seats and sink into plush lounge chairs with electronic reclining mechanisms that allow them to select their own perfect viewing position.

Harkins’ already immense concessions menu will be amplified with a robust offering of gourmet appetizers, sliders, crêpes, personal pizzas, decadent desserts and an espresso bar. Additionally, the Vérité Lounge will expand to create an indoor/outdoor rooftop terrace and boast a full bar with a wide range of mixed cocktails, unique wines and beers, including local craft favorites.

“This theatre will be a moviegoer’s dream come true,” said Dan Harkins. “We intend to transplant the soul of our beloved Camelview into this amazing new cinema.  Independent, foreign, and art films are a part of our DNA and we are proud to be able to continue and expand Camelview’s legacy to include even more films in a dazzling new venue.”

Harkins anticipates opening Camelview at Fashion Square in the spring of 2015 at Scottsdale Fashion Square mall located on the northwest corner of Scottsdale and Camelback roads.


Harkins marketing duo forms Syndicate PR

Bryan Laurel and Melissa Rich, the two top-ranking marketing executives at Harkins Theatres, left the theatre chain to form their own PR firm – Syndicate Public Relations. Additionally, Laurel and Rich are proud to announce they will handle all publicity efforts for the Scottsdale International Film Festival, which celebrates its 13th year in October.

Syndicate PR specializes in public relations strategy and execution, promotional and strategic marketing and special events including product launches and fundraisers.  While working with retailers, businesses and charitable organizations, Syndicate PR will capitalize upon recent successes by working with motion picture distributors and independent filmmakers.

Laurel left his post as Director of Marketing in early January after 15 years with the company. His previous experience includes marketing roles for such brands as Apple Computer, Inc., General Electric, Dillard’s Box Office and AMC Theatres. Laurel spent much of his career at Harkins managing a well-rounded marketing team, executing high-profile promotions and cultivating relationships with valley media and executives at Hollywood motion picture studios.

Rich landed at Harkins in 2004 after building her career within several local full-service advertising agencies and ABC News in Washington D.C. Prior to her departure in February, Rich oversaw Harkins’ community relations program and in-kind partnerships with local charities generating more than $2 million in in-kind donations annually.

Together, Laurel and Rich created hundreds of motion picture promotions with major Hollywood studios and helped the company double in size via marketing campaigns for 18 new theatres in the Phoenix-metro area, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado and California.  They also spearheaded the successful effort to bring the world premiere of 20th Century Fox’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine to their theatre at Tempe Marketplace in 2009. The event attracted thousands of moviegoers, hundreds of national and international media entities and hosted Hugh Jackman, Ryan Reynolds, Liev Schreiber and Will.i.am. as well as Valley-based celebrities.

“I had a great experience with Harkins. Giving fifteen years of my life to the company was easy when working for a man like Dan Harkins.  Melissa and I accomplished all we wanted to and now we’re taking our unique skills from the motion picture industry to a new world of clients” said Bryan Laurel, Principal at Syndicate PR.

“Bryan and I work together so well and this partnership made perfect sense for us as a next logical step upon leaving our corporate lives,” said Melissa Rich, Syndicate PR Principal. “I am extremely grateful for all of the opportunities I was given at Harkins Theatres, and I’m excited to showcase our expertise in new areas.”

Top Business Leaders will speak in the New ECP Season

Top leaders from the NFL Network, Harkins Theatres, the United Services Automobile Association (USAA), and the Arizona Diamondbacks are among those who will take the stage during the new season of the Economic Club of Phoenix speaker series. Every year, Phoenix-area audiences are invited to attend the club’s luncheons and hear from some of the biggest names in the business world.

“We want Valley businesspeople to be able to hear from the heads of major local companies and top executives from international firms,” says W. P. Carey School of Business Dean Robert Mittelstaedt. “This series brings leaders from a variety of industries to talk about what’s happening in their own companies, as well as in the business arena as a whole.”

The Economic Club of Phoenix (ECP) was founded by a group of prominent business executives called the Dean’s Council of 100, in conjunction with the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. The club is now the preeminent Arizona forum for the exchange of ideas about business and the economy. Its monthly luncheons and other activities offer business leaders and others opportunities to network and engage.

This season’s speaker lineup (subject to change) is:

Thursday, Oct. 11 – Dan Harkins, owner and chief executive officer, Harkins Theatres
Thursday, Nov. 8 – William Toler, president and chief executive officer, AdvancePierre Foods
Wednesday, Jan. 23 – Derrick Hall, president and chief executive officer, Arizona Diamondbacks
February – TBA
Wednesday, March 13 – Kim Williams, chief operating officer and chief financial officer, NFL Business Ventures/NFL Network
Thursday, April 25 – Maj. Gen. Josue Robles Jr., president and chief executive officer, United Services Automobile Association (USAA), Dean’s Council of 100 Executive of the Year
Thursday, May 16 – Annual Economic Outlook Luncheon

All luncheons run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The first event will take place at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, with the rest of the locations still to be announced.

Non-members are welcome for a $75 luncheon fee. Funds in excess of the cost of lunch are used to support scholarships and faculty research at the W. P. Carey School of Business.

For more information about the club or to reserve seats, call (480) 727-0596, e-mail wpcarey.ecp@asu.edu or go to www.econclubphx.org.

Scottsdale Fashion Square

Scottsdale Fashion Square: Not Your Typical Mall

The best of both worlds is the best way to describe my trip to Scottsdale Fashion Square. There is something for everyone, yet the experience is different from your typical mall.

Scottsdale Fashion Square offers the ideal stores that you can’t access anywhere else. It was a treat to be able to explore Louis Vuitton, Coach and Tiffany & Co. all in one mall. The blend of stores, Harkins Theatres, as well as variety of food and treats makes it a mall to remember.

Accompanied by my boyfriend, who is not a big fan of stores that aren’t about gaming, technology or pop culture, he was able to cope due to the variety of stores that suited both of us.  We enjoyed exploring stores such as Game Stop, Disney Store, Ed Hardy, Crate & Barrel, Betsey Johnson, Abercrombie & Fitch, Fossil and the Microsoft Store.

We spent a fair amount of time within the Microsoft store examining the various computer and tablets. Both of us have Macs, so it was interesting to compare the other products out there in one space. Many children were playing Xbox 360 Kinect with their parents, in the store, which also sells many Kinect games that seemingly flew off the shelves.

Tempted by the delicious smells wafting around the mall, we took a look at a few of the restaurants that make up the food court, including Johnny Rockets, Panda Express, Pita Jungle, Blue Burrito Grille, Kona Grill, Paradise Bakery & Café and Sarku Japan. Some other selections for dessert or a snack included Haagen-Dazs and doc popcorn.

With so much to do and such a unique selection, it breaks up the monotony of the day and perhaps the “normal” mall one would normally shop at. It’s a vacation from the day-to-day; I found this a special treat because I attend school in Tempe and usually am only able to make it to the Tempe Marketplace mall; so it was a nice change. I look forward to visiting Scottsdale Fashion Square again because of the variety and diversity that awaits me with every visit.

For more information about Scottsdale Fashion Square, visit fashionsquare.com.

Scottsdale Fashion Square
7014-2124 East Camelback Road #2021
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 423-9014

Tempe Marketplace

Food, Entertainment & Shopping: Tempe Marketplace

I headed up to Tempe Marketplace to check out the shops and restaurants that keep college students returning throughout the school year. Being a student from Arizona State University, many of the people within the city of Tempe and college students gather here to pass the time. Whether you want to go to the movies, try new restaurants, or even shop for new outfits or dorm supplies, Tempe Marketplace has what you’re looking for.

Starving by the time my boyfriend and I arrived, we were tasked with the choice of which restaurant to choose. Some of the restaurants available are California Pizza Kitchen, Lucille’s Smokehouse Barbeque, Kabuki, Red Robin, Chipotle and the Thirsty Lion.

We decided on Chipotle, a Mexican grill offering burritos, bowls, tacos, and even kids meals. The variety allows you to make to the right choice, such as vegetarian style, chicken, steak, and barbacoa beef. As we emerged from Chipotle, full, we were quickly tempted by the smell of popcorn in the air (thanks to the nearby Harkins Theatre) as well as the ice cream and frozen yogurt eaten by passersby (from Cold Stone Creamery and Mojo Yogurt, respectively).

Escaping temptation, we made a quick stop into Claire’s, greeted with Justin Bieber hats, flip-flops, purses and other colorful treasures for teens and young girls alike. If you know what you’re looking for, there are numerous earrings and jewelry that are perfect for even a college student’s wardrobe.

In search of pop culture attire more our age group, we ventured into Hot Topic. From Mario to Disney, you can’t help but pick out a variety of things you simply can’t live without.

With so many stores within a few steps of one another, we quickly visited 20 shops, including Tilly’s, Journey’s, Pac Sun, Lids, Oakley, Target, Ross and World Market.

Tempe Marketplace is also the perfect place to stay updated with upcoming shows at ASU Gammage. The previous season was posted, but other upcoming events that Tempe Marketplace sponsored are listed along the paths between the various stores.

Near Barnes & Noble, there is a kid-splash fountain for little ones to play in. Many happy moms were taking advantage of this amenity and watched their little ones play as they sat in the shade. The area, called The District”, has free Wi-Fi, and Tempe Marketplace is pet friendly.

I look forward to another visit to Tempe Marketplace to explore the stores as well as try more food from the variety of restaurants.

For more information about Tempe Marketplace, visit tempemarketplace.com.

Tempe Marketplace
2030 East Rio Salado Parkway
Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 966-9338