A company led by Los Angeles-based talk show host Steve Mason is interested in operating the Hollywood Theaters, which last April 17 decided to close for a month.
Mason, president of Flagship Theatres, said his company has entered informal talks with Oregon-based Wallace Theatres Corp. to re-open the seven-theater cinema complex.
Wallace Theatres is the owner of Hollywood Theaters.
Flagship Theatres owns the University Village Theatres near downtown Los Angeles and Cinemas Palme d’Or in Palm Desert, California.
Mason, for his part, is a host for 710 ESPN Radio. He has previously hosted the nationally syndicated “The Late, Late Radio Show with Tom Snyder & Steve Mason” for CBS Radio and worked the last five Olympic Games for NBC and Westwood One Radio Network.
Mason and the company’s vice president Brian Tabor founded Flagship Theater Corporation in 1994.
The Saipan Tribune e-mailed and left a message for Wallace Theatres vice president for marketing Heather Wright, but she has yet to respond to the e-mail or return the call as of press time.
Hollywood Theaters unexpectedly closed its doors last April 18, leaving the CNMI without a cinema for the first time in nine years.
In an e-mail, Wallace Theatres said that Hollywood Theaters will discontinue operations for 30 days after the last showing in the evening of April 17 and then re-evaluate whether it is still economically feasible to continue.
Wright said the island’s bad economy and rising operational costs led to the company’s temporarily halting operational at the seven-theater Hollywood Theaters.
“Unfortunately, Saipan’s lackluster economy has resulted in low attendance levels and many operating expenses have significantly increased over the last year. We are closing the doors for one month and will review the financial situation again before coming to a long-term decision,” she wrote.
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.
Currently showing at Hollywood Theater are Leatherheads, Nim’s Island, Superhero Movie, Drillbit Taylor, Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!, Never Back Down, 10,000 B.C., College Road Trip, and Definitely, Maybe.