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How many years have you worked in the Movie Theatre Industry and how did you first become involved?
I was interested in driving a car and my father told me that I had to get a job if I wanted to drive. So, I filled out an application and started working on May 16th, 1984 at a theatre in Colton, CA. I didn’t know what I was walking into, I just knew that I was “workin’”. Since then, I’ve worked for 3 different theatre chains.

What’s the best part of your Job? Do you have any memorable experiences that you would like to share?
I love all the facets that I get to jump into working for a theatre company. But what means the most is interacting with people through HR, you can see what really matters, people matter.

What is your fondest movie theatre memory?
When I worked for the Mann’s Chinese Theatre, I was about 2 feet away from Johnny Depp during the hand and footprint ceremony. While he was posing for the photographers, he was cursing them under his breath, but in a really funny way. It stands out in my head because it was so unexpected.

How old were you when you went to your first movie? Do you remember the theatre and the city?
My first film was “Gulliver’s Travels”, I was 5yrs old and the company my Father worked for, Rohr Industries, held a Christmas showing for all of their employees at the Fox Theatre in Riverside, CA. I was excited about the movie, however I really only cared about getting one of those red, mesh stockings full of candy after the film!

What is your favorite movie of all time? What is it about this movie that stands out for you?
I’m an “Urban Cowboy” and “Saturday Night Fever” girl. I can watch those over and over again.

Do you have any special interests? What are they?
I’m an artist and my fiancé, Digger Mesh, is a big comic book artist. We are going to put an art show together sometime next year. I do mainly abstract art with messages but I’m learning new skills from my fiancé. I also managed rock bands—which is how I met my fiancé one night outside of the Whiskey on Sunset Blvd.

What does being a member of NATO of CA/NV mean to you?
It’s great feeling taken care of and being around people who are doing the same thing you are, just with a different company and going to Cinema Con, being a part of something bigger than I ever imagined.

Of all the resources that the Association offers (seminars, scholarships, email advisories, etc.) which is most useful for you?
All the training and seminars NATO offers takes away any headache we might have had as an individual company; we send people off to attend and we’re in compliance. I also get to hear these amazing stories from their charity work. Tissues please! NATO is wonderful.

 

Veronica Moreno has worked for three theatre chains; General Cinemas, Mann Theatres and currently Regency Theatres. While working at the world famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre she came across about-to-be-discarded photos of the historic theatres in Westwood, California namely the Fox Village and Bruin Theatres. She contacted Lyndon Golin, president and owner of Regency Theatres, who just purchased those locations, and asked if he would like to have the photos. Not only did the photos find a new home, Veronica found a new job with Regency where she is currently the Director of Operations. She believes she’s meant to be in this business but says she’s somewhat of a rarity not being a movie buff. What she is passionate about are the theatres.

 

“I find it fascinating that people have no idea what it takes to run a movie theatre. People think we just sell tickets and popcorn, but no! You’d be surprised what those tickets and popcorn bring along with it.” Ms. Moreno has only had one job her whole life but feels like she’s had multiple jobs because of all the different areas she’s involved with. She continues, “It’s never the same day. It’s never doing the same thing. You never know what’s going to happen when you pick up a phone call.” She gets her thrills from all the different facets of working for a movie theatre, but she loves working with people, Human Resources is the best. Ms. Moreno says, “That’s what matters the most. What makes that building are the people that are inside. Without people, nothing matters.”

 

The Director of Operations for Regency Theatres has a lot to look forward to this coming year. Ms. Moreno will soon become Mrs. Mesh— she’s marrying Digger Mesh (an animator/artist, writer, producer). And the couple is putting together an art show due next year featuring their own art amongst others. The love story all began when Mr. Mesh approached her outside of one of her rock bands’ shows—managing rock bands and painting are a couple of her pastimes. He, shortly after, decided he couldn’t live without her. Thankfully, she shares those feelings. Unfortunately, they don’t share the same feelings about going to the movies.

 

Ms. Moreno loves her job but admits there is a downside. Since she turned 17, she has never and is quite sure never will be able to enjoy a movie in a theatre the way regular moviegoers do. She’ll always be cognizant of the goings on in the theatre, both good and bad. Her fiancé pleads with her to stop looking around but she says, “It’s impossible! I make notes in my mind.” That is the eternal sacrifice to be made when you’re in the industry, especially when it is your destiny!