entertainment

Maya Cinemas Is The Latino-Owned Movie Theater Chain Bringing Latino Stories To Underserved Latino Neighborhoods

mayacinemas / Instagram

According to the Motion Picture Association of America’s annual statistical report, Latinos made up 23 percent of movie tickets purchased in the U.S. last year. However, there is an underlying problem to this statistic. There is a lack of movie theaters in predominantly Latino neighborhoods, especially in Central California, and Moctesuma Esparza, famous for producing “Selena,” is trying to change that. Esparza is the owner of Maya Cinemas, which opened its first theater in 2003 in Salinas, California, a predominantly working class Latino community. His mission is to bring movies to these undeserved communities.

Moctesuma Esparza is bringing movie theaters to Latino neighborhoods even as overall ticket sales decline.

Maya Cinemas has opened its fifth movie theater in Delano, California, despite ticket sales declining. The working class Latino neighborhood, where Cesar Chavez helped organize a labor strike in 1965, didn’t have an operating movie theater for 10 years and is an example of the need Esparza is trying to fill with his movie theater chain.

Latinos make up nearly double the movie sales among all minorities in the United States at 23 percent.

“The market is underserved, and it’s the market that contributes more than any other to the bottom line of Hollywood,” Santiago Pozo, founder of Latino-focused marketing firm Arenas Entertainment, said in an interview with the LA Times. “It’s a community that really goes to movies.”

Maya Cinemas hopes to expand beyond California and into more predominantly Latino communities around the United States.

According to The Undefeated, Esparza is growing outside of California. There is currently a theater under construction in Las Vegas and eventually will follow up in Texas and Arizona.

Esparza has been an advocate for the representation of Latinos in mainstream media.

Esparza was an organizer during the 1968 Chicano student walkouts in East LA. In support of independent filmmakers who haven’t been able to get a theatrical distribution, Esparza has launched a program at his movie theaters will air their films.

Latino representation is needed more than ever in mainstream media.

While Latinos make up 18 percent of the U.S. population, they were represented by just 3 percent of speaking parts in the Top 100 films in 2016.


READ: Watch These Latino Movies And Try To Say You Aren’t Proud To Be A Latino

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19 Celebs We Can Trust Because They Love Their Dogs

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19 Celebs We Can Trust Because They Love Their Dogs

There are a few ways to know whether or not you can trust a person. However, the best way to figure out whether or not a person is trustworthy is figuring out whether or not they like animals, namely dogs, and how they treat them. My mother always said to me that you should always judge someone based on how they treat the defenseless, like animals. You know that’s the only thing that matters because if they can keep a dog alive and happy, they can have my secrets.

1. Bella Thorne & Tampon

CREDIT: @bellathorne / Instagram

Yup. She named her dog Tampon and stands by it, because when did tampon become a dirty word? I’d argue that tampons have been far more useful than “Barbie’s” and “Oreo’s”.

2. Daniella Monet

CREDIT: @daniellamonet / Instagram

You can’t find Daniella Monet in her Twitter profile pic without her beloved puppy. She totally has her eyes.

3. Demi Lovato with Batman & Cinderella

CREDIT: @ddlovato / Instagram

Caption: “These are a few of my favorite things ❤️ @demisbatman @ember#EmberxDemi”

4. Stephanie Beatriz & Gouda

CREDIT: @iamstephbeatz / Instagram

She’s a badass detective on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” and has recently adopted and brought lil Gouda into her life after Banjo passed. Remember what I said about the names? Increíble.

5. Juanes & Parce

CREDIT: @juanes / Instagram

It is amazing just how much we start to lok like our animals, or the other way around, Just check out their hair.

6. Gina Rodriguez & Casper

CREDIT: “gina rodriguez bike ride dog new orleans 043411948” Digital Image. Just Jared. 23 May 2018.

What a queen. This feels very E.T. meets Casper the Friendly Ghost and it’s just improving my mood. Who couldn’t fall in love with that little face?

7. Salma Hayek and Mozart

CREDIT: @salmahayek / Intagram

Hayek lives on 55 square miles of forested Washington land, and she lives for the 6 dogs and 2 llamas that she’s rescued to live their lives out happily. #Goals

P.S.- Mozart, pictured here, was accidentally shot and killed by her neighbor after he wandered onto his property. RIP.

8. Christian Serratos

CREDIT: @TWD__HQ / Twitter

Girl loves her Yorkies and she even has another one named Gigi! Are you a small dog or big dog person? Doesn’t matter as long as you show those angels love.

9. Aubrey Plaza & Macy

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Dogtipper. 23 May 2018.

I’m swooning. Our boricua queen of dry wit adopted a rescue dog named Macy and has not stopped obsessing since. I 👏mothaf*ckin 👏 trust 👏 you, girl.

10. Camila Cabello

CREDIT: “camilla-dog (41)” Digital Image. Ocean Up. 23 May 2018.

It’s almost too much to bear, that sweet Camila could get even sweeter, but es la verdad. She’s a mushy angel with a mushy mush face.

11. Miranda Cosgrove

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Clevver. 23 May 2018.

We grew up watching her on I, Carly, and of course her dog looks like a Disney character. Look at those short churro legs!! Adorable.

12. Danny Trejo

CREDIT: “Actor Danny Trejo joins animal heroes on Lucy Pet Foundation float” Digital Image. Pasadena Weekly. 23 May 2018.

Danny Trejo is another animal advocate who will only ever adopt and never buy an animal, as evidenced by his more than one PSA. The cute aggression is taking a toll.

13. George Lopez & Owen

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. People. 23 May 2018.

Lopez adopted this lil guy when he was just one year old after learning that he’d been shuffled around to different homes. My heart.

14. Patricia de Leon & Bella

CREDIT: @patriciadeleonb / Instagram

Celebs are not immune to mourning their dogs’ lives.

Caption: “Yesterday was Bella’s 14th bday. God blessed me with her and Chico. I lost Chico 2 years ago, and Today I had to say good bye to Bella… Thanks my little one for all your love, your patience. We shared sooooo much together…you were there for every tough, sad, fun and happy moment in my life…you gave me strength by just holding you on days I felt my world was collapsing, you brought so much love into my life, and I will always be thankful for it… I am going to miss you so much, my unconditional love…thanks to all of my friends that took care of her through out the years and loved her, you know who u are, I will always be thankful… R.I.P. my Bella 🙏🏻💔 I will always love you!”

15. Jessica Alba

CREDIT: “jessica_alba_webheader.jpg” Digital Image. Modern Dog Magazine. 23 May 2018.

Jessica Alba’s dogs were so tight that when one of them died, the other couldn’t live on and passed just two weeks later. Alba is such a devoted dog parent that she knows they needed to be together.

16. J. Lo

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. People. 23 May 2018.

Adopt me. This is everything: J. Lo + three dogs and two kids, just the right balance.

17. Maluma

CREDIT: @bonnie_clyde_mlm / Instagram / Digital Image / January 14, 2017

Every time Maluma gets a chance to go back to his home in Colombia, he always sets quality time aside for his two dogs Bonnie and Clyde.

18. Shakira

CREDIT: Pinterest

I know, you’re cute aggression is reaching an all time high. There is a pug wearing a graphic hoodie, cheek to cheek with *Shakira*. You’re only human, you can release the rage.

19. Selena Gomez

CREDIT: xStopSelenaHatex / YouTube

We leave you with Saint Selena receiving kisses and handshakes all at the same time as the official new St. Francis of Assisi. Someone, please make candles.