Cine Tropical


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Designed by architect Albert Chauvet, this large and roofless theatre was truly atmospheric, with most of the seats open to the sky except for some situated beneath the first and second balconies. The stage was constructed completely of bamboo, which framed the screen without curtains, and surrounded by palm trees and exotic plants. The marquee, which was 73 feet long, was crowned with a terrace of shrubbery. The spacious lobby, done in natural stone walls with a black slate floor, connected to two stairways to the balconies.

Cine Tropical seated 1,500 on the ground floor, 1,200 in the first balcony, and 300 in the second balcony, which also housed the projection booth. Patrons sitting in the top uncovered area got a spectacular view of the sky, sea, and the city itself. “There is very little trouble encountered from the weather at this roofless theatre since, except for a short rainy season, the area has perfect climate. Even during the rainy season it is seldom necessary to miss the performance since it usually rains either before or after the program,” said a descriptive article in the 1954-55 Theatre Catalog, which was published around the time that Cine Tropical first opened. I don’t know if it still exists.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris
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