Veteran Entertainment Industry Executive, William “Bill” Bernard Doeren died on March 8th at the age of 76 after a long battle with multiple Dementias including FTD, Alzheimer's and Vascular.
Bill Doeren spent over 40 years in the motion picture industry, primarily in leadership roles with AMC Entertainment, General Cinema Theatres, MGM and Kodak. His extraordinary career provided the organizations he led with commitment to innovation that allowed for pioneering accomplishments that transformed the industry’s operations and guest services for future success.
While at the helm of AMC as COO, General Cinema as President & CEO and Managing Director for MGM Theatres in Europe, Bill spearheaded the development of advance ticket and credit card sales, initiated the development of exhibition’s first frequency programs, AMC’s “Movie Watcher” and General Cinemas “Credits” and brought about the United States first upscale, dine-in theatre with General Cinema’s Yorktown “Premium Cinema” in 1998. Beyond his role in exhibition, Doeren worked diligently at Kodak to move the motion picture industry to Digital Technology – which is now the industry standard around the world.
Bill Doeren was born in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina to Rosemary and Don Doeren. The family ended up settling in Kansas City. Bill graduated from Bishop Miege High School, where he was a stellar student athlete and received his undergraduate degree from Rockhurst College. He earned his MBA from Memphis State before enlisting and serving four years in the United States Navy. Upon leaving the Navy, Bill returned to Kansas City and began his career as a theatre manager with AMC.
Bill’s drive, intellect and dedication propelled him up the ranks at AMC, where he became a Division Vice President in Los Angeles, which led to his eventually becoming the company’s EVP and Chief Operating Officer back in Kansas City. Alongside AMC founder, Stan Durwood and AMC President, Ed “Woody” Durwood, Bill helped AMC navigate through challenging industry changes, forging an extraordinary operating company built on an ever-growing core of high-performing strategic locations and a deep and talented management team. Under Bill’s guidance, AMC moved to the forefront of the exhibition industry – where it remains today. He was a man of integrity, commitment and drive - always the consummate professional - but loved a good laugh and was a passionate sports fan especially for his kids and grandkids.
Bill is survived by his wife, Ellie of Los Angeles, his brother Roger Doeren and partner, Vivien Jennings of Kansas City, his son David Doeren and wife Sara of Raleigh, North Carolina; his daughter Sara Hambidge and husband Mark, of Cincinnati, Ohio; his six beloved grandchildren; Jacob, Luke, Connor, Abby, Charlie and Maddie and his nephew, Burke Doeren and wife Kellie of Long Beach. He was preceded in death by his parents, Rosemary and Don and his brother, Michael. While Bill’s lifelong passions were movies, golf, football, dogs and travel, his heart and soul was his family – he lives on through them.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bill Doeren’s memory to the following charities some of which were important in supporting him along his dementia journey and others that will pay it forward to future generations in terms of critical research.
Pacific Neuroscience Institute, https://www.pacificneuroscienceinstitute.org/about-us/pni-foundation/donate-now/. Choose the Designation to be “Brain Health Center (PNI)”, check the box for “This gift is in honor, memory, or support of someone” and under personal note write “PNI Alzheimer’s Research – Bill Doeren.” For questions, please contact Meghan Chereck, Director of Philanthropy, Saint John’s Health Center Foundation at (310) 694-7722 or Meghan.Chereck@providence.org.
Brain Support Network, PO Box 7264, Menlo Park, CA 94026, https://www.brainsupportnetwork.org where Bill gifted his brain to support future research.