At the movies, do you ever get so caught up in action-packed blockbuster previews that you forget what film it is you are there to see? That happens to me all the time. The marketer in me even enjoys some of the advertising peppered into those previews often filled with fast cars and smart gadgets. Rarely however, is my attention captured by the self-endorsing theatre commercial spots asking me to download an app or purchase popcorn. So, it was to my surprise one evening, that it was just that, a company promo, that left me most inspired during a trip to the movies earlier this spring. 

The company promo I am referring to is that of Santikos Entertainment –Be Part of The Legacy. I was very impressed by the message and new philanthropic mission of Santikos Entertainment and the social enterprise it has become. The video made me want to learn more about the company so when I got an invitation by Aquila of to visit with some of the people behind Santikos Entertainment, I couldn’t RSVP fast enough  Oh, and the extra exciting part of the meeting would be that I would get to hear more about the social enterprise at the newest Santikos property called Casa Blanca, a family entertainment center that includes 100% laser projection multiplex movie theatre (only one in the world), 16 lanes of bowling, a full-service sports bar, arcade and cafe. It is also the last theatre designed by the late John L. Santikos.

Bowling Alley!

Bowling Alley!


As an entrepreneur and a community catalyst, I am always looking to learn and plan (you know for when I have millions to use for philanthropic purposes) on best practices when it comes to social enterprise. Santikos is a wonderful example to not just learn from but also participate in.


Dennis E. Noll, President and CEO of the San Antonio Area Foundation

Santikos, as part of the estate of the late John L. Santikos, was gifted to the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation in 2015, marking it as one of the largest single charitable donations in the history of San Antonio and in the United States that year.  Santikos Entertainment now exists for the sole benefit of the communities in which it operates which is currently the San Antonio and Houston, Texas areas. The dollars spent on movie tickets and amenities are funneled back into the local community (a total of eight counties) in the form of donations, sponsorships, grants and programming that educate, cure, support and otherwise enhance lives of the citizens that support Santikos Entertainment. How FLY is that?!

Roger Trevino, Manager at Casa Blanca location started as a popcorn maker at Santikos

Roger Trevino, Manager at Casa Blanca location started as a popcorn maker at Santikos

The opening of Casa Blanca theatre extends the charitable legacy of the late John L. Santikos, a cinema pioneer and visionary, to the west side of the city (Alamo Ranch). So when I or you purchase a ticket to check out a movie, we also become part of the legacy!  The Casa Blanca is expected to be one of the top 20 theaters in the country, contributing to the $12 million that will be given to the community in 2016. In fact the Santikos fund is estimated to generate $20 million a year for $400,000 a week for the community of the next 10 years.

See. Inspiring! 

Hershey's products are sold at Santikos because Hersheys has a majorly owned by non-profit children's orphanage

Hershey’s products are sold at Santikos because Hersheys is mostly owned by a non-profit children’s orphanage furthering the charitable goals of Santikos.


I am definitely looking forward to enjoying some summer movies at the new Casa Blanca knowing that my dollars are going back to the community.



Beautiful Casa Blanca Theatre

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