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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The Internet Sneaks Some Wacky Stuff Into Movie Theaters and It’s Giving Us Ideas for Our Next Movie Date

Culture

The Internet Sneaks Some Wacky Stuff Into Movie Theaters and It’s Giving Us Ideas for Our Next Movie Date

We love going to the movies. Whether going out with girlfriends or enjoying a classic date night, an evening at the theater is a winner. However, what we don’t like about the theater is the pricey concession prices. A night at the movies can easily break the bank if you give in to the expensive options at the snack bar which is why we don’t feel the slightest bit guilty about sneaking in the occasional soda can or bag of candy every once in a while. 

However, we were surprised to find that when it comes to sneaking things into the theater the Internet really does do the most. 

Instagram / @fiercebymitu

For example, this couple used a baby car seat in order to sneak snacks into their local theater. Talk about ingenious! We found even more impressive movie sneaks while looking around on Twitter and Instagram and we just had to share them with our readers. Here are some of the most outlandish things that people have admitted to smuggling into the movies. 

1. A snack more fit for a college dorm.

Instagram / @maruchan_inc

“A bowl of cooked 2 minute noodles.” wellibmt17 

2. A winning combination. 

Instagram / @julloa84

“Savages! I’ve had Wendy’s, wine and more 😬” @liz_laprieta 

3. Mini refreshment.

Instagram / @tnhillsdistillery

“😂😂 10lbs of airplane bottles” — @lagoss_

4. How did she even get this in?

Twitter / @illimattic408

Sneaking a watermelon into the theater would have taken a really big bag in order to go unnoticed. It’s more impressive because this melon isn’t even sliced into pieces. 

5. Pan = the perfect snack.

Twitter / @shitcoinmining

This isn’t just any bread, it’s the longest bread you can find. This Twitter user successfully slipped a baguette into the theater unnoticed and we’ve go to wonder where he hid it. Was it hidden up his sleeve? Down his pant leg? We want to know.

6. Just what the fanny pack was meant for.

Twitter / @fremlo_

We have questions. Was it cold pasta or warm? Are we talking spaghetti or more of a filled pasta? What’s the sauce situation like? Either way, this is a creative smuggle.  

7. A burrito baby was born.

Twitter / @mfrancook

Congrats, it’s a burrito! Sure, we’ve sneaked things into our bags before, but we’ve never gone full preggo belly just to smuggle in our snacks. This takes some real commitment.  

8. Another baby bump sneak.

Twitter / @jordynbink

If there’s one food worth getting caught with, it’s definitely tacos. This Twitter user implemented the old baby bump trick in order to get her Taco Bell into the theater. It even comes with a side of tortilla chips. 

9. A movie goer’s best friend.

Twitter / @xovaleriax0

It isn’t just food that people take into movie theaters. Man’s best friend has also been known to stow away and enjoy a film or two. This Twitter user was able to sneak her adorable Pomeranian into the movies. If we were in the same theater, we’d be too distracted by this puppy’s cuteness to enjoy the movie being played. 

10. We see your dog and raise you a cat. 

Twitter / @eric_young5

When we think about it, a dog isn’t such an out-there thing to see at the movies. A cat, though, is much more surprising. Cats often don’t like to do what they’re told but this cat is different. Mister Lewis was able to make it through an entire film. 

11. What’s impressive here is the number of nuggets that were snuck in. 

Twitter / @StrengthofFates

We can’t have just one nugget and, apparently, neither can this Twitter user. Check out how many she was able to smuggle in and we dare you not to be impressed. 

12. A snack perfect for a celebration.

Twitter / @rachharbin

We’d be afraid that this treat would melt on the way into the theater. Luckily for this Twitter user, the ice cream cake made it there in one piece. We hope they decided to skip the candles for this cake. 

13. A homemade treat.

Twitter / @atterbom_

Store-bought cupcakes are one thing, but have you ever brought your own homemade cupcakes to frost in theater? This Twitter user did. Buying candy may be easier but it’s much less memorable. 

14. Spaghetti O-M-G.

Twitter / @_bushybrows

The kids in us really appreciate this snack. The adults that we’ve become, however, are kind of grossed out at the thought of eating uncooked Spaghetti-O’s.  

15. The most important meal of the day.

Twitter / @fbhughes

Cereal isn’t the same without milk. Luckily, this Twitter user was able to sneak both into the movies. We wonder if it was an early morning matinee or a late-night film? Either way, great snack choice.  

Netflix Officially Cast The Role Of Selena Quintanilla And ‘Twilight’ Fans Will Be Thrilled

Entertainment

Netflix Officially Cast The Role Of Selena Quintanilla And ‘Twilight’ Fans Will Be Thrilled

Netflix has officially selected a Latina to keep the legacy of Tejano music legend, Selena Quintanilla, alive. For its highly anticipated show “Selena: The Series,” the big-time streaming platform has tapped Christian Serratos, AKA Rosita Espinosa of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” series.

Twenty-four years after her tragic death Selena is, once again, being brought back to life on the screen.

Little information has been released by Netflix about the series, but Serratos casting will undoubtedly launch quite a bit of chatter.

christianserratos/ Instagram

The series, which was created with the participation of the Quintanilla family and announced by Netflix last December, has already garnered quite a bit of anticipation online. Back in 1997, the casting process for the singer had the Latino community astir for months until it was finally revealed that then-dancer, singer and actress Jennifer Lopez (still known as a triple threat for her moves, voice and acting chops) had earned the role. The Boricua’s casting caused quite the controversy primarily because she was not Mexican. This time around, Netflix kept the controversy in mind while conducting casting. In a recent interview with NBC News, Moisés Zamora– who is the head writer and one of the executive producers for the show– explained how crucial it was for him to ensure Mexican- identity was strongly included in the show.

“I associated her with my family and being Mexican in America,” he told the outlet at the time while highlighting how the younger singer was shaped by her identity of being a woman of Mexican heritage who also grew up in Corpus Christi while speaking English.

For the latest portrayal of Selena, the executive producer was involved in the casting of Serratos, a Latina of both Mexican and Italian descent.

Serratos knows all about breathing life into deceased characters.

AMC

For four seasons she has raged against the undead in “The Walk Dead” and in her earlier career played Angela Webber, friend to Bella Swan lover of vampires, in Twilight.

According to outlets, it’s unclear how the series will tackle Quintanilla’s vocals.

Back when Lopez took her turn as the singer, she was made to lip-sync to Quintanilla’s vocals. We’re pretty sure that if Netflix doesn’t decide to do the same, they’ll be in good hands because Serratos voice is banging. She even sings “Baila Esta Cumbia” in this compilation!

So far fans of Selena are on board with the news.

While buzz online hasn’t quite ramped up, we’re pretty sure once news of the casting catches on Latina Twitter will be doing the washing machine for days.

And it appears Serratos has the Selena Fan Club seal of approval.

And it’s no wonder why! Serratos cuts a pretty uncanny resemblance to the Tejano beauty.

Of course, while most of the reactions to Serratos casting have been positive the TWD club is a bit worried.

Okay TBH it feels like a worthy sacrifice.

Like literally people are bummed.

Pero… like I said! Serratos as Selena will totally be worth it.

(Jeeze… wonder if she’ll die by zombie attack?)

But there is a silver lining to the upset.

If fans of “The Walking Dead” are this bummed over possibly losing Serratos, that means she must be pretty damn good at taking on great roles. So here’s to Serratos and her new role! Hopefully, for TWD fans she’ll be able to juggle both… if not bidi bidi bom bom.

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