The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) is a trade organization based in the United States whose members are the owners of movie theaters. Most major theater chains are members, as are many independent theater operators; collectively, they account for the operation of over 26,000 motion picture screens in all 50 U.S. states and numerous other countries.
ShoWest is the annual motion picture convention established by NATO in 1975; it is usually held in March, and is the largest and most notable film convention in the world.
In 1980, NATO also began presenting the American Movie Awards, with the winners selected based on voting by theater patrons. Various legal difficulties prevented the awards from being presented in 1981, and the event was discontinued after the 1982 awards due to competition from other awards shows.
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