ARRI mourns the loss of Thomas Popp


  • With deep sadness, ARRI says goodbye to its longstanding colleague
  • Thomas Popp worked for the company for 55 years where he aided in developing the business through his energy and great dedication

December 17, 2018; Munich, Germany – Thomas Popp, a long-time ARRI employee, passed away on December 3, 2018. The Executive Board and the ARRI colleagues mourn the loss of their companion of so many years and look back with gratitude on what he achieved, and the time spent together.

In 1955, at the age of 14, he began his apprenticeship as a precision mechanic at ARRI – and remained with the company for over 55 years. Since 1966 he was employed in the construction department, where he was involved in the development of the ARRITECHNO 35, the ARRIFLEX 35III, 35IIIC, and the ARRIFLEX 16 BL under the direction of camera designer Erich Kaestner. After studying business administration, Thomas Popp held various positions in the sales department of ARRI Cinetechnik. Committed as he was, he was always keen on special projects, such as managing the reconstruction of the ARRI cinema in 1984, which he completed with his team just in time for the German Media & TV Award “Bambi.” With great dedication he took care of the sales of the ARRIPRO and later the LOCPRO on-location projector. He also enthusiastically supported ARRI´s first digital products: the ARRILASER and the ARRISCAN. In 2003 he was appointed Sales Director Camera & Digital Intermediate Systems and granted commercial procuration. From 2004 on, together with Sigrid Mueller, he was Co-Managing Director of ARRI Lighting Solutions in Berlin, which was responsible for the lighting systems business and sales of lighting products in the EMEAI region.

Thomas Popp has grown with ARRI and has developed the company in its various functions through his energy and high dedication. “Wherever Thomas Popp has worked for ARRI, he represented the company with his commitment, his positivity, and with his personal modesty. He was a true ARRIan in the best sense of the word,” emphasizes Professor Franz Kraus, long-time Executive Board Member and now member of the Supervisory Board of ARRI. 

Dr. Michael Neubauer, Managing Director of the German Society of Cinematographers (BVK), remembers him as follows: “Anyone who met Thomas Popp appreciated his reliability and his straightforwardness. He built bridges in many directions and actively promoted ARRI´s cooperation with partners – also in the field of film culture”. This included his commitment to the Camerimage festival in Poland, intensifying his ties with the BVK, and supporting the film technology museum in Deidesheim, Germany.

Even after his official retirement, Thomas Popp was still associated with ARRI and the film industry. From 2008 to 2014, he was a member of the board of the Foerdergemeinschaft Filmtechnik Bayern e. V. and received the special award “1st Friend of Camerimage” in recognition of his services to the world`s leading festival of cinematography.

Most recently, Thomas Popp was featured in ARRI`s video interview series “The Filmmaker´s View” (https://tinyurl.com/ybmbbvqh) and took part in the celebrations for the company’s centennial in 2017.

ARRI will honor his memory.

About ARRI:

Arnold & Richter Cine Technik (ARRI) is a global company within the motion picture media industry, employing around 1,500 staff worldwide. The company was founded in 1917 in Munich, Germany, where the headquarters is still located today. Other subsidiaries exist in Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Australia.

The ARRI Group consists of five business units: Camera Systems, Lighting, Media, Rental, and Medical. ARRI is a leading designer and manufacturer of camera and lighting systems for the film and broadcast industry, with a worldwide distribution and service network. It is also an integrated media service provider in the fields of film post- and coproduction, international sales, as well as equipment rental, supplying camera, lighting, and grip packages to professional productions. ARRI Medical focuses on the use of core imaging technologies for surgical applications.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has recognized ARRI’s engineers and their contributions to the industry with 19 Scientific and Technical Awards.