The Gran Teatro De La Habana Is Guarded Against Ticket Scalpers / 14ymedio

The Gran Teatro de La Habana received the name of Alicia Alonso after its re-opening on 1 January of 2016. (Luz Escobar)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 26 January 2016 — The National Council of the Performing Arts has taken measures against the resale of tickets at the Alicia Alonso Gran Teatro de La Habana. The Ministry of Culture, which controls the theater, emphasized that the new controls have been established jointly with the venue to eliminate “the unscrupulous action of the resellers.”

Each person who lines up to get seats can appear at the window only once and must show their identity card. From now on, an individual can only buy four tickets to one performance, or two for each event if they are buying for two different events.

The Security and Institutions of Culture Company will increase the number of agents around the ticket window and the theater doors when there is a show of great interest to the public. In addition, the National Revolutionary Police will identify possible resellers.

“We are confident that the planned measures will help us stop the speculators in a decisive way, we will work so the Alicia Alonso Gran Teatro de La Habana remains a referential place for young people,” the venue has stated in a note published in Juventud Rebelde (Rebel Youth) newspaper.

Resellers offer tickets at 20 CUC (about $20 US) while the price is 30 CUP (about $1.20 US) according to reader’s letter published in the government press

Earlier this month, in the Letter to the Editor section of that newspaper, the journalist Jose Alejandro Rodriguez complained that “the Cuban State has financed an extremely costly repair of the Alicia Alonso Gran Teatro de La Habana” and “it no more than reopens the doors of the venue, and the traditional claque of resellers has regrouped and exercises their hegemony in the line at the entrances for the performances of the Cuban National Ballet.”

The reporter published the letter of an indignant reader who explained how the resellers would offer tickets to the place for 10 Cuban convertible pesos (CUC – about $10 US), when the official price is 30 Cuban pesos (about $1.20 US). “If they try to sell them right before the performance starts, it’s 15 CUC,” she complained.

In October of last year this newspaper mentioned an ad on the popular classified site, Revolico, saying that “reasonably priced tickets for the Ballet Festival” were for sale. In that case, in addition to those sold by the so-called coleros (people at the line), tickets were also available from ones given to intellectuals, artists and people linked to the Cuban National Ballet, at a cost of between 20 and 25 Convertible pesos.