Lily Monteverde

Lily Monteverde
Founder, Regal Films

Monteverde was born into the family of copra magnate and Chiang Kai Shek School founder Domingo Chu, but her father refused to lend her any financial support because of her rebellious youth. She also did not receive anything from her in-laws. But what she did have was a passion for the movie industry. She used to go out of her way to visit the studios of Sampaguita Pictures and LVN Pictures for a chance to see her favourite movie stars.
After marrying her husband Remy, she worked for her father-in-law in 1961 for P200 a day. She saved enough money to buy two popcorn machines at P1,500 each to install at a Cherry Foodarama branch in Mandaluyong, and naturally, at Podmon Theater in Sta. Cruz, Manila. Her popcorn sold well enough for her to earn P7,000, enough money to buy the screening rights to the Hollywood film, “All Mine to Give.”
The film earned P500,000 within half a month of screening for Monteverde, and she and her husband began flying to the United States and Europe to find more film rights to buy. In 1976, she produced the box office hit “Kayod Sa Umaga, Kayod Sa Gabi,” starring Elizabeth Oropesa and Gina Pareño. The movie grossed P4 million. With those profits, Monteverde opened Regal Films that gave rise to stars in the ’80s, including Maricel Soriano, Aga Mulach, Albert Martinez, and Kris Aquino. — CM, GMA News

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