Compton Residents Head Straight Outta Town to See Straight Outta Compton

A man walks past Compton City Hall in Compton, Calif., July 19, 2012. The city has no movie theater, forcing residents to go elsewhere to see the 2015 blockbuster Straight Outta Compton.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Straight Outta Compton has its fair share of fans and critics, but there’s irony in the fact that Compton, Calif., residents who’d like to see the movie can’t do so in the city where they live.

According to CBS Los Angeles, Compton doesn’t have any movie theaters.

“It’s a low-income area, it’s been heavily disinvested in,” University of Southern California professor of sociology Manuel Pastor told the news station. “When you live in a community that doesn’t have that kind of retail, it’s a sign that the community is devalued, and people within the community feel devalued.”


Compton residents now have to travel to theaters in surrounding areas to see the movie, but that could all change eventually. Compton City Manager Johnny Ford says there are plans in place to bring a 16-screen movie theater, as well as other forms of entertainment. But it’s a shame that it’s taken so long for this to happen.

“Seventy percent of that would be the movie theater, and then there would be an additional 30 percent retail space,” Ford said.

In addition to the plans Ford spoke of, Dr. Dre is also using money from royalties generated by his new album to build an arts and entertainment center for children. None of this will happen overnight, and sure, it’s great that things are finally coming to fruition, but one has to wonder, why such a long wait?

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