Entertainment

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

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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Sasha Calle Is Officially The DC Universe’s First-Ever Latina Supergirl

Entertainment

Sasha Calle Is Officially The DC Universe’s First-Ever Latina Supergirl

Albert L. Ortega / Getty

The DC Universe just got a heck of a lot more Brown.

This week, it was announced that 25-year-old actress Sasha Calle is poised to be the franchise’s newest superstar. Known for portraying Lola Rosales on “The Young and the Restless,” the actress will take on the role of Supergirl in the DC film franchise.

Her first appearance as Supergirl expected to debut in the upcoming movie “The Flash.”

Calle, who is of Colombian heritage, is set to become the first Latina ever to play the role of Supergirl.

Calle earned her first breakout role in 2018 after being cast in the long-running CBS daytime drama “The Young & The Restless” as a food truck owner and the youngest sister of brothers in the midst of a toxic rivalry.

Calle earned a Daytime Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Young Performer in a Drama Series category last year for her part in the series.

“On behalf of everyone at ‘The Young and the Restless,’ we’d like to congratulate Sasha Calle on making history and being chosen to play the first Latina Supergirl,” the daytime drama’s executive producer Anthony Morina and co-executive producer/head writer Josh Griffith shared in a statement. “The role of Supergirl is a perfect fit for someone of Sasha’s immense talent, and we wish her all the best as she takes on this groundbreaking role.”

According to Deadline, Calle beat out 425 actresses for the part of Supergirl.

Andy Muschietti director of The Flash gave Calle the good news about her role over Zoom.

“Can I freak out for a second?” Calle asked before announcing the news to someone offscreen. “I got it,” she said to the person off-camera while doing a dance in her chair. Turning back to Muschietti, Calle admitted “I’m probably not going to stop crying all day.”

Calle shared the moment to her Instagram admitting she was still processing the big news.

“A Latina superhero?!” Calle wrote of the news in Spanish. “On what planet?! Well, on this planet! What joy and what pride.” Thanking her mom, Calle wrote, “I adore you with everything I have. You are an example of a superhero.”

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Gov. Newsom And California Lawmakers Unveil Stimulus Checks, Relief For Undocumented Residents

Things That Matter

Gov. Newsom And California Lawmakers Unveil Stimulus Checks, Relief For Undocumented Residents

Mario Tama / Getty Images

Americans are still waiting for the $1,400 check from the federal government to make good on the $2,000 promise In the meantime, some Californians will get extra help from the state government. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a $9.6 billion stimulus package for state residents and undocumented people.

Low-income Californians will be eligible for a $600 stimulus check from the state government.

Gov. Newsom and California lawmakers have agreed on a $9.6 billion relief package for the Golden State. The relief package is offering much needed relief to businesses, individuals, and students. The relief will come to Californians in different ways.

According to a statement, the package is making good on the promise to help low-income Californians, increase small business aid, and waive license renewal fees for businesses impacted by the pandemic. In addition, the package “provides tax relief for businesses, commits additional resources for critical child care services and funds emergency financial aid for community college students.”

The relief package is aimed at helping those who are hardest hit by the pandemic.

“As we continue to fight the pandemic and recover, I’m grateful for the Legislature’s partnership to provide urgent relief and support for California families and small businesses where it’s needed most,” Gov. Newsom said in a statement. “From child care, relief for small business owners, direct cash support to individuals, financial aid for community college students and more, these actions are critical for millions of Californians who embody the resilience of the California spirit.”

The package will quadruple the assistance to restaurants and small businesses in California. Small businesses and restaurants will be eligible for $25,000 in grants from a $2 billion fund.

Undocumented Californians will also receive a boost from the state government.

Low-income Californians will receive a one-time payment of $600 while undocumented people will be given a $600 boost. The money will be sent to tax-paying undocumented people in California.

According to the California Budget & Policy Center, undocumented people in California pay $3 billion a year in local and state taxes. Despite paying taxes, the undocumented community has not been ineligible for relief payments from the federal government. These payments will give needed relief to a community overlooked throughout the pandemic.

“We’re nearly a year into this pandemic, and millions of Californians continue to feel the impact on their wallets and bottom lines. Businesses are struggling. People are having a hard time making ends meet. This agreement builds on Governor Newsom’s proposal and in many ways, enhances it so that we can provide the kind of immediate emergency relief that families and small businesses desperately need right now,” Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins said in a statement. “People are hungry and hurting, and businesses our communities have loved for decades are at risk of closing their doors. We are at a critical moment, and I’m proud we were able to come together to get Californians some needed relief.”

Learn more about the relief package by clicking here.

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