A Latino movie producer is opening theaters in poor, rural areas in the U.S. that lack basic entertainment options, giving unserved audiences a chance to dream.
Moctesuma Esparza opened his latest Maya Cinemas theater last month in Delano, California.
The movie theater is the fifth that Esparza has opened in rural areas with majority Latino populations. Esparza says residents in rural towns and cities often have to travel more than an hour to watch a movie since many small theaters have closed.
Rural communities in Appalachia, the American Southwest and the Mississippi Delta have seen small theaters close due to the high cost of technology updates and to economic downturns that discourage investors.
New Mexico is pushing an initiative to revitalize downtown districts in isolated, small towns by rehabilitating aging, historic theaters.
Esparza produced the 1997 movie “Selena.”