Video Room Fits in a Container / 14ymedio

Container converted into video room

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Santiago de Cuba, 31 January 2017 — The movie theater with cushy chairs, carpets and a purring projector is a thing of the past. Now, the films are broadcast on huge flat-screen TVs or inside a container for the transportation of goods, such as the one located on San Miguel Street at Victoriano Garzón Avenue in Santiago de Cuba.

At the end of last year, this metal box was set up as 3D movie theater, operated by the state. The improvised place started out as the butt of jokes about the high temperatures in structure under the summer sun, but now its showings play to a full room, due in part to the few recreational options that characterize the nightlife of the area.

A worker at the Provincial Film Center, who preferred anonymity, commented to the media that the aim of the initiative is to displace the private movie rooms

Marcos Luis Rondin Castro, a worker at the peculiar installation, told Tele Turquino that the plan is to make the container mobile to “bring the new technologies to places where the conditions for these type of projections do not yet exist.” However, the “dark box” still can’t be moved in the absence of a rolling base that the state needs to construct.

The container offers five daily showings, two for children and three for adults over 16 years. The high demand for the service is also due to its proximity to some of the city’s 18-story apartment buildings, where hundreds of families live. The improvised venue has a capacity for 24 spectators at a price of 10 Cuban pesos (roughly 40¢ US).

In November 2013 Raul Castro’s government ordered the closure of the private and popular movie rooms managed by self-employed worker

A worker at the Provincial Film Center, who requested anonymity, told 14ymedio that the aim of the initiative is to displace the private movie rooms. Although these premises were closed down by the state more than three years ago, there are still some operating illegally.

Yoanis Maceira Robert, administrator of the 3D Room, explained to this newspaper that the people of Santiago were “accustomed to the video rooms that were built in different locations that no longer exist,” which is why he hopes that the rolling cinema will be received with enthusiasm.

In November of 2013 the government of Raúl Castro ordered the closure of the private and popular movie rooms managed by self-employed workers. The entrepreneurs ran the movie rooms under a license to operate recreational equipment, but the authorities then prohibited these operations.