Iconic Payret Cinema in Havana Destroyed to Build Another Hotel

In its eagerness to attract more tourists to the island, the Cuban government even attacks heritage buildings and converts them directly into hotels. Now the victim in turn is the Payret cinema theater, a representative building of the capital, which was built during the colonial period, in 1878 and which was one of the first places where films were shown in Cuba.

Several Twitter users published the image of the exact moment in which the identifying sign was removed: “They loaded the PAYRET Cinema with a sign and everything, literally,” Cuban Erwin Powell posted next to the photo of the crane.

Another user made a play on words with “Gone with the Wind” accusing the government that 145 years later they “murdered” the Payret cinema, to turn it into “another hotel for tourists that will result in foreign exchange for the dome in the can”.

The space occupied by the movie theater will be used for the construction of the Manzana Payret tourist complex and the five-star Pasaje hotel, all under the management of the GAESA business group.

«They finished destroying the Payret cinema, one of the oldest cinemas in the country and in all of America. A cinema that is a symbol of Havana, but we already know that the socialists do not like authentic symbols, that is why they are in charge of destroying them, in order to impose themselves,” the writer Ariel Maceo said on Twitter.


The works in this central area of ​​Old Havana began last February, although the late historian of the city, Eusebio Leal Spengler, had assured that the Payret cinema would be maintained at all costs.

“About the Payret hotel, which will actually be built on that block, I declare that this will not affect the integrity of the cinema-theater at all, rather it will contribute to its restoration and reopening as what it has always been, a public service institution”, Leal said at the time. But none of that will be done.

However, the general director of Development of the Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR), José Reinaldo Daniel Alonso, had already indicated that the investment project was being analyzed. “It will be studied, it will be seen and it will be decided, at the moment in which it proceeds, if the cinema

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