Regal cinemas back in operation

Posted on May 28 2021

Mount Carmel School’s Theater Club played a key role in the reopening of the Regal Saipan Megaplex, premiering the student movie Zero2Hero on the silver screen last Friday, making it the first movie played at the cinema complex since it closed in the early part of last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Mount Carmel School president and Theater Club adviser Galvin Deleon Guerrero, it took months of work with Regal’s corporate office and Regal Saipan’s Willy Santos to make the reopening and theater premiere possible.

Deleon Guerrero and the Theater Club needed to submit a proposal to the CNMI COVID-19 Task Force that outlined mitigation protocols that the club will follow at the premiere. The task force deemed the proposal and mitigation plans adequate and approved the event.

For the business aspect of reopening Regal, much of the negotiating between Deleon Guerrero, Santos, and Regal’s U.S.-based corporate representatives involved assuring corporate that the student film was intended to showcase student talent rather than to simply turn a profit.

“We screened the original Zero to Hero 10 years ago at Regal, when it was called Hollywood Theaters. That was made possible by Willy Santos, who was and still is the general manager. He has always been very supportive of our program. As for the cast and crew, making a feature-length film is hard during ordinary times. The fact that they pulled this off during this ‘new normal’” is a testament to their skill and commitment,” said Guerrero.

Among the crowd last Friday were MCS AlumKnights—in reference to MCS alumni—who were more than thankful that the movie theater experience is back.

“After a year of watching movies and TV shows at home, it was nice to finally be able to experience a premiere in a theater again,” said AlumKnight Nathaniel Snodgrass.

“Regal is the only cinema viewing place on Saipan. It is nice to come back and support the one and only place [on] Saipan that shows movies. It’s been a part of my life through so many years,” said AlumKnight Victor Cabrera, who first played the role of “Zero” in the original Zero to Hero released 10 years ago. He reprised his role for 2021’s Zero2Hero.

“It was nice to relive the theater-going experience. You never know how much you miss standing in line [for tickets], in line at the concession stand, watching previews, and sitting through a piece of media with so many others around you,”, said AlumKnight and moviegoer Jasmine.

MCS will hold an encore screening of Zero2Hero at the school’s central quad on June 11.

Joshua Santos | Reporter
Joshua Santos is a Mount Carmel School AlumKnight and University of Florida Gator Grad with a passion for writing. He is one of Saipan Tribune’s newest reporters. Josh enjoys golf, chess, and playing video games with friends in his spare time. Reach out to him @rarebasedjosh on all socials.
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