SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s an activity that families can always enjoy: Going to the movies. But for some residents of Sioux Falls, going to the movies is more work than enjoyment.
“Because you have a lot of people who are first generation [from] Latin countries, some of them speak English, very little, some don’t speak the language at all,” Otto Garcia said. “So, sometimes the children want to go to the movies, but the parents do not understand the situation.”
Otto Garcia, a pastor with Iglesia El Punto Es Servir, is the driving force behind getting Century East at Dawley Farms to begin showing movies in Spanish. After recently attending a movie with his wife, Garcia began working with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Sioux Falls and Century to bring blockbuster films in Spanish to the theater.
“I spoke to the management, I told him who I was in, I told them that there are over 30,000 Hispanics raised in Sioux Falls alone, not to count the cities around us,” Garcia said. “So, I told them, there was a big possibility of, you know, generating income for the theater.”
The next day the theater called Garcia back to inform him that they would begin showing “Lightyear” in Spanish. A few days later, the theater began showing three films in Spanish: “Lightyear,” “Jurassic World Dominion,” and “Top Gun: Maverick.”
For Selene Zamorano-Ochoa with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, being able to see “Jurassic World Dominion” with her family was a momentous occasion.
“I think is the first time that I got to enjoy a movie with family and friends where I’m not interpreting the movie,” Selene Zamorano-Ochoa said. “If it was something funny, we were both laughing at the same time, and everything made sense. And it was amazing, and, for me, it was a great feeling.”
The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce works with the Latino population in Sioux Falls to make the community more inclusive while also letting people know what is available to them.
“What we’ve noticed a lot is that we work too much, and we don’t have time to for ourselves, you know, to go in for recreational to the park or anything,” Zamorano-Ochoa said. “So, then thinking about that, and thinking that we want kids to spend time with their parents and learn from each other their backgrounds.”
Together, Zamorano-Ochoa and Garcia worked with Century to introduce adding a second language to film showings. But Zamorano-Ochoa hopes it doesn’t stop with just Spanish versions of films.
“We know everything about wanting to be inclusive, the struggles and everything,” Zamorano-Ochoa said. “So, we want all our brothers and sisters from different nationalities, other languages, to also get up and say, ‘hey, if they can do it, we can also do it,’ you know. And we want everybody to learn from each other.”
Garcia wants to encourage members of the community to attend a showing in Spanish to both support the theater and to learn more about another language.
“That’s why I’m pushing the community to support this, you know, this achievement, because the more people that come in, the more money the more revenue the company will get,” Garcia said. “And that way they’ll keep sending those new releases to this community.”
This weekend the theater will have showings of “Jurassic World Dominion” and “Lightyear” in Spanish.