Sue Y Camilo

|September 7, 2012 | Cuba, Travels

Cine Camilo Cienfuegos, Santa Clara, Cuba.

The lobby of an old-style ( like many things in Cuba, a literal time capsule, conveying not just a sense of what it was like in the 1960s, but the feeling of actually being there, something I’ve rarely experienced anywhere else ) single-screen movie theater. A cavernous, pitch-dark place which shows art films and horror movies ( in English, even ) for free. We took a look, and there were exactly two people in attendance.

It’s on the ground floor of the Santa Clara Libre Hotel, about which I read this : ” Bordering the Parque Vidal, we find the Santa Clara Libre Hotel ( formerly the Santa Clara Hilton ), considered by critics and the general population as the ugly duckling of the place. It offers an unbecoming contrast with all the surrounding architecture both in scale and design. Still, the building is rich in history. Legend has it that the breakout of the 1959 revolution put on hold projects for higher towers in the plaza; these would have contributed to further destroying the existing beautiful colonial and eclectic architecture. The walls of the hotel still show multiple machine gun impacts from the attack of the rebel forces led by Che and Camilo back in the 1959 revolt. “

It’s the only place to stay in Santa Clara, and we stayed there, and it is a fucking shithole, although the bar on the roof is very nice. There are indeed bullet holes in the walls.