Swan Song / Regina Coyula

On Thursday the Adrenaline 3D finished installing a colorful marquee like the old movie theaters; two days later they found out from the newspaper that they couldn’t remain open, not even until that weekend.  But Adrenaline’s owners decided to open that Friday night.  Like Scarlett O’Hara they will think about tomorrow.

By phone they confirmed that only they and one other 3D movie room, in Alamar, would offer events after the prohibition expressed in the newspaper notice. The one in Alamar is disposed to wait until the authorities close them down. A couple in Lawton was desperate because they planned the opening of their 3D movie room precisely the Friday of the closing and they would not recover even the smallest portion of their investment.

The measure was a war foreseen.  The reason, ignoring the convenient absence a permit to transact in such activity, is the political culture of the Revolution, which should educate and cultivate our people with shows that elevate their sensibility and cultural heritage, etc, etc, etc.

Said like that, it doesn’t sound so terrible, but it is suspicious that State television — the only one in existence — offers “products” which make you wonder who approves certain scripts and budgets for programs unforgettable because they are so hideous.

That same television keeps us up to date on the wonders “Made in Bollywood” and there is every kind of canned show; I remember a South Korean one that pretended to be a comedy; it must be that our humor has nothing to do with theirs, which explains why I find the news cast from the North Korean television hilarious; clearly, the political culture of the Revolution has different units of measure.

Many people, with the appearance of these private movie theaters, saw the possibility to recover the pleasure of going to watch a movie, beyond the home screen.  Except for Chaplin, the Cinematheque and perhaps one or another theater on 23rd Street, the now surviving movie theaters show the national debacle with their broken chairs (careful with the vermin), deficient air conditioning (if they still have it), projection equipment and audio in bad shape; all that makes a visit to the movie theater very far from a pleasant experience.  And so, the return of pleasure will have to wait.

Saving the pearl for the end: a conversation among neighbors, with regards to seeing the crestfallen, now without the adrenaline to sing, taking down their marquee.

One said to the other, “You know what happens in places like those, they have been showing pornography to kids.”

The other woman nodded, impressed, as the younger one, who ruled the roost, spoke with great conviction. And as if that weren’t enough, she said, referring confidently to the network of videogame rooms (also being shut down), “I heard from good sources that the psychiatric hospitals are full of crazy kids that used to play those things.”

So much condensed nonsense tried my patience, and very politely I interjected not to repeat those things without foundation, that it sounded like a government argument to accuse these places of being an unhealthy environment.

The woman gestured with her hands and shook her head no and hurried to say: “No, no… Me?  Government? What government? I just registered again for the third time for the visa lottery [to emigrate to the United States]?”

Translated by LYD

4 November 2013