Nearly a month after the islands’ lone cinema closed, Wallace Theatres Corp. announced yesterday that it will reopen the seven-theater Hollywood Theater-Saipan Megaplex this coming May 23.
Portland, Oregon-Wallace Theatres said after reviewing the financial viability of the theater and receiving a positive reaction from the public, the theater will resume normal operations late next week, in time for the opening of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,”
“Since we suspended operations to give us time to review our options, we experienced an overwhelming response from locals saying, ‘Keep the theater open!’ and, in spite of rising costs, especially energy, we’re going to give it another shot,” said Clyde Cornell, chief operating officer of Hollywood Theaters. “We’re excited to bring Hollywood back to Saipan.”
After weeks of inactivity, the site was abuzz yesterday afternoon as GCG company staff worked on cleaning and repainting the facade of the Hollywood Theater in anticipation of next week’s reopening.
Hollywood Theater unexpectedly shut down last April 18 with Wallace Theatres citing the island’s bad economy and rising operational costs as the reasons for the company’s decision to temporarily halting operations.
During its month-long absence, video rentals on Saipan have enjoyed brisk sales with one prominent outlet reporting a 20-percent spike in business since Hollywood Theater closed.
A company led by Los Angeles-based talk show host Steve Mason also showed interest in operating the cinema complex.
Mason, president of Flagship Theatres, said his company entered informal talks with Wallace Theatres to re-open the seven-theater cinema complex.
Headlining Friday’s movie offerings will be Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Famed archaeologist/adventurer Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones (Harrison Ford) is called back into action when he becomes entangled in a Soviet plot to uncover the secret behind mysterious artifacts known as the Crystal Skulls.
Hollywood Theaters said the first 1,000 patrons to the theater on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will receive an Indiana Jones Top Trumps 6-card booster pack.
Additionally, the opening of Hollywood Theaters will feature Ironman, when wealthy industrialist Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is forced to build an armored suit after a life-threatening incident, he ultimately decides to use its technology to fight against evil.
Also slated for the theater’s re-opening, the Wachowski brothers’ Speed Racer. Fearless driver Speed Racer teams with his one-time rival, Racer X, to win the race that took his brother’s life.
From the guys who brought you 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall will also make its Saipan debut. Devastated Peter takes a Hawaii vacation in order to deal with recent break-up with his TV star girlfriend, Sarah. Little does he know Sarah’s traveling to the same resort as her ex and she’s bringing along her new boyfriend.
Jet Li and Jackie Chan, meanwhile, star in The Forbidden Kingdom. A discovery made by a kung fu obsessed American teen sends him on an adventure to China, where he joins up with a band of martial arts warriors in order to free the imprisoned Monkey King.
Hollywood Theaters features stadium seating, giant screens and Dolby Digital Sound. Auditoriums feature high-back reclining seats that give each patron an unobstructed view, while cozying-up in “love-seat” style chairs that feature retractable cup-holder armrests.
Hollywood Theater-Saipan Megaplex, located next to Price Costco, opened with much fanfare in Sept. 8, 1999.
During its first week of operation, the venue showed Deep Blue Sea, Haunting, Iron Giant, Mystery Men, Bowfinger, American Pie, Thomas Crown, and Miss Kristina Moran.