In the last decade or so, several smaller theatre owners who served on the Independent Theatre Owners Committee of NATO formed the Cinema Buying Group LLC, which was designed to obtain volume discounts for joint purchases of theatre supplies.  Shortly thereafter, the governing documents of CBG were enhanced to facilitate acquiring digital cinema equipment and service.  On October 26, 2006, CBG members voted to dissolve the separate for-profit entity and to reconstitute as a program within the National Association of Theatre Owners. CBG-NATO provided key leadership as the member companies navigated the conversion to digital cinema from 35-mm film. With the digital projection conversion now nearing 100% completion, CBG-NATO leadership has turned focus to a more comprehensive list of products and services that will positively affect the members across a broad set of product/service categories.


The CBG is a group of over 500 independent movie theater companies formed to combine the buying capacity of the membership for purposes of: securing volume discounts and competitive pricing and/or terms across a broad spectrum of relevant and vital products and services; offering enhanced promotion and merchandising of movies and concessions; developing strategic relationships with manufacturers and suppliers by offering cost-saving services that can be passed on to members that elect to buy; and ultimately providing greater access to available opportunities for the member companies.  CBG-NATO also serves as a vehicle for industry manufacturers and suppliers to partner with this important and vital membership in ways that can offer meaningful upside to both the supportive vendor partners and participating CBG members.

Separate Program Within NATO

CBG-NATO is a buying program for independent theatre owners and operators, and subject only to such NATO oversight as trade association law and fiduciary duties dictate.  CBG-NATO is financially self-supporting and has a separate dedicated bank account.  The program has a separate website, and its principal place of business is determined by the location of its managing director.  CBG-NATO’s managing director reports to the chair and vice-chair of NATO’s Independent Theatre Owners Committee.

Cost of Membership

Currently the annual membership fee is $150 for NATO members and $250 for non-NATO members.  Fees will be prorated for applicants joining later in the fiscal year.


“We are committed to providing the CBG membership a great value for their membership dues through the continued and expanding programs currently under development. It is with great pride that we represent this vital membership group and we take our responsibility to each member seriously.”      Bill Campbell, CBG Managing Director