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Alisa Starks

Inner City Entertainment

Born and raised in Chicago, Starks earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Starks founded Inner City Entertainment in 1996 and launched the ICE Theaters chain in 1997. Dubbed the first Black Owned and Operated cinema chain in the country in the 90s, this $40 million development included construction of three multiplex movie theaters in Chicago’s Chatham, Chicago Lawn, and Lawndale neighborhoods.  

Starks has more than 35 years of marketing and management experience as an entrepreneur and a corporate advertising executive,  managing national marketing and advertising campaigns for corporate giants like McDonald’s Corporation, Procter & Gamble products, Hanes Brands, California State Lottery, and other clients.

Since divesting of ICE Theaters, Starks has been developing a new multi-entertainment complex with her son to be constructed in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood, continuing her mission to help revitalize underserved Black communities. The grand opening is targeted for 2023.