Jesus S. Avila Enterprises started in the mid 1950′s as a single proprietorship, when Atty. Jesus Emilio Suico Avila rented Oriente Theater from his father, Don Jose Avila.  Having pioneered the theater business in the 1930′s, the older Avila, weary through the war years, was no longer interested in going back to the theater business. However, the younger son was full of energy and optimism to step into his father’s old business.

As the years passed and with his father’s blessings, the business flourished.  When Mr. Felix Barba’s lease expired, Jesus took control of the old Majestic Theater beside the Oriente Theater.  He renamed it into Ideal Theater. By 1967, Jesus began the construction of his first totally brand new cinema, the Rizal Theater, which was situated behind the Oriente Theater.  With three cinemas operating, Atty. Avila became the number one movie operator in Cebu City. In 1969, he embarked on the renovation of the Ideal Theater, but a mysterious fire totally destroyed both the Oriente and Ideal Theaters.  This limited the business operations to only one theater.  With the cost of rebuilding the burnt theaters beyond the reach of a single proprietor, Atty. Avila created a new corporation, the Heirs of Jose Avila, Inc., together with his sisters.

Jesus S. Avila Enterprises was incorporated into Jesus S. Avila Theatrical, Inc. on December 17, 1973, operating only the Rizal Theater.  The new corporation branched out into the real estate business in 1975 with the construction of Adela Bldg. in Mango Avenue.  With the transformation of Mango Avenue into a commercial thoroughfare, another building was constructed in 1978 in the old Avila residence and a new theater, Century 21 Cinema, was added to the back of this building.  With the creation of a new corporation to run the theaters, and having given up control of Rizal Theater to the downtown corporation, Jesus S. Avila Theatrical, Inc. began concentrating on the commercial real estate business uptown.  After his death in 1979, the building he built in the old Avila residence was named Jesus S. Avila Bldg.  The corporation was later renamed JESA Management Corporation in 1988, which bears the initials of his full name, Jesus Emilio Suico Avila. The construction of Century Plaza Commercial Complex, done in phases, then began in 1988 until it was finally completed with Century Plaza Hotel, a business/boutique hotel in 1998.  Then in year 2008, JESA Management Corporation built the JESA–ITC (Information Technology Center) at the site of the old Century 21 Cinema building.