Farewell to the movies Roxy, out-standing culture space vallisoletano
Farewell to the movies Roxy, out-standing culture space vallisoletano
Along with the recent and unpopular increase of the VAT, with the consequent increase of the price of the earnings and the predictable one quasi disappearance of the movies (in spite of some attempt of innovation like 3D), one of the more emblematic rooms of movies of Valladolid closes its doors. The movies Roxy says definitely good-bye after seventy-six years of life.
Roxy opened its doors on March 4 of the convulsed year 1936. First of all, we must refer to its name proceeding from a room of movies that, in turn, finishes of opening in New York, promising to be like, in that moment, the biggest movies of the world. This name, he remains registered until middle of the decade of 1940, when more movies namesakes appear in other Spanish cities like Madrid or Talavera. Next, a curiosity, sample of the implacable pro-Franco censoring: During three years of the Civil war, the movies Roxy happens to be named a Movie theater I remove, due to the prohibition of using anglicisms or Gallicisms, which appears already in the Law of Press of 1938 (in general, all that that was sounding «to foreigner», is an evil got for the National Movement, which takes the city of Valladolid from the first moments of the conflict). Its appellative original returns after a difficult work of the owners, who, finally, convince the military authorities of the city.
With regard to the architecture, the movies of the street Maria de Molina (placed to scarce meters of the Theater Lope de Vega), supposes a rupture with the adjacent buildings. The building planned by the architect ovetense Ramón Pérez Lozana and decorated for Aquiline Long Major, has certain miscellany déco – modernist, which does not wonder, bearing in mind that Pérez Lozana is the author of some buildings like the block Santiago 26 or the Theater Carrión, protagonists of the town-planning renewal of Valladolid during the first third of the XXth century. The room, spacious, has capacity for 1150 localities distributed in orchestra amphitheater. The local newspaper, The North of Castile, there speaks about the movies Roxy as the most elegant «cinematograph of Valladolid» and, the day of its opening emphasizes that its architecture «is based on the last advances of the lighting (…), looking for the effects of the light and making use of the advantages that the disposition of the space was offering».
The first movie that is exhibited in the room is Don Quintín the amargao (subalumnus The daughter of the trick), it produces premium of the Catalan director Luis Marquina, supervised by Luis Buñuel and led by actors Fernando Soler and Alice Caro. It is a question of a melodrama, with very theatrical sets and all the ingredients of the most folkloric Spanish movies of the epoch: Most of masculine personages, characterized with the prototype of authentic, scenes of interior (house, office, casino), in which the whole series of passions passes, you envy and jealousy.
The box office of that first projection is destined for the vallisoletanos harmed by the floods of January 28 and February 21 of the same year, which provoked rises of up to eight meters on the ordinary level of the Pisuerga and the Esgueva. Nevertheless, the premiere of Roxy is a defeat. Very few spectators come to the movies this night, what it makes think to the brothers Emilio and José de La Fuente, owners of the room, about a wrong business perhaps provoked by its distance with regard to the center and its proximity to the river, what was doing that it was a cold room, although its armchairs are quite comfortable. Nevertheless, to a few days the room fills and the success is on the increase.
It is an epoch of technical limitations, the movies kept on being, as in its origins (in 1896), a varieties spectacle, continuing its spirit of shed of fair and, in the movies Roxy, there is still supported the figure of the comical actor, accompanied by the pianist in the intervals.
Spent the years of the postwar period, with the step of the property to the second generation of the family of The Source, the movies keeps on being a space of sociability to which to come with friends, couple, relatives; the movies is part of a ritual of weekend for the middle classes, along with the walk and the Sunday coffee.
The movies Roxy is the movies of all the vallisoletanos, of the capital and the province. In words of its owner, “it was always a popular movies”; significant is the current social change, the life expectancy of the spectators has gone down (the numbers indicate that there exist most of children and adolescents), perhaps due to the town-planning changes (parking scarcity in the center).
Francisco de La Fuente feels nostalgia of the years in which the movies Roxy is one of the main claims during the fairs of San-Mateo «when the whole sold capacity took-1200 armchairs as a meeting - the first day, for the whole week».
The epoch of the tardofranquismo and the Transition in the movies Roxy, is also, representative of the events of the city (as the Movies Coca, for example, in the premiere of The mechanical orange of Stanley Kubrick in 1975 or The crime of Cuenca of Pilar Miró – 1981).
Many are still the cases of tensions, scandals and censoring in democratic epoch, although Valladolid is an excellent cinematographic city (good sample of it is its prestigious festival Seminci), the called «years of lead» (even after the coup d'état of February 23, 1981) they are infested with facts led by groups of extreme right to try to perpetuate the dictatorial system. The current owner remembers the disputes and the enormous police presence during the projections of «certain problematic movies» like The case Almeria (Pedro Costa, 1982), with cocktails molotov and threatens of included bomb or in the premiere of The Christ's last temptation (Martin Scorsese, 1988), when posiciona in the main door of the movies a group of women saying the rosary, in a condemnation act to the movie.
In 1990 and 1992, several reforms are attacked in the movies Roxy and Lafuente.
The movies Roxy is, along with the Theater Caldron, one of the fundamental spaces of our dear Week of Movies (from its 42 edition) and of other projects like Seminci TV in 2009 or the shorts festival The Line in 2011, to which the director E comes. Margaretto, award Goya for Memoirs of a movies of provinces.
In the first one of them, Seminci TV, with actors' big inflow (Roberto Enríquez, Blanca Portillo, Carmelo Gómez, Silvia Munt, Mercedes Sampietro … etc), there can be seen the pilot episodes of series of Spanish Television (especially) in the period 2009 – 2010; in spite of its excellent welcome on the part of the public it did not go so far as to come off for lack of budget.
On the other hand, F. of The Source he speaks about its «road surface bets for the Spanish and Castilian and from Leon product»: In 2011, is emphasized the Fans' success (Arturo Dueñas), novel movie and, in turn, done by means of real histories or the projection of the documentary of Roberto Lozano, The eyes of the war.
Big qualifications as basic Instinct, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones or the last crusade and the Spaniard The good star are the most popular movies in the history of this room.
Francisco de La Fuente comments, with a smile, on the most curious anecdotes that they live in the orchestra, someone are memories of its grandparents and others lived in the first person: From the first projection of The last variety song (Juan de Orduña, 1957), when the entry of Roxy collapsed of the people, anxious for seeing the big actress of the moment Sara Montiel, who comes to Valladolid to present the movie up to the premiere of The fifth element (Luc Besson, 1997), when the place suffers a flood and the public remains, until the end of the movie, with the feet on its seats. In short, histories of a «movie theater paradiso», place of meeting, social and cultural space.
But, now, they cover bad times also for the seventh art: Mythical movies – clubs in schools and movies of quarter (in the decade of 1960, there are 75 screens in the city of the Pisuerga), like Capitol (I was quiet Bakers), Castile (quarter Girón), Ambassadors (Delights), Babón (Rondilla), Avenue (Walk of Zorrilla) threw the closing more than two decades ago; from 2009, they have stopped existing the one that had the screen of major dimensions, the movies Vistarama (Rondilla), the Movie theater Coca (where the ancient Theater of the Comedy was located, from the beginning of the XIXth century), the movies Abacus and Parquesol. Broadway, Casablanca and Manhattan survive in the city, with difficulty, the movies.
The opening of an innumerable series of rooms of movies in the shopping center Rio Shopping leads us to asking us, if, this economic crisis leads us (once again, historically), to a change (following the etymological sense of the word) culturally and socially. The movies is a reflex of the human behaviors and it would be negative that its current action as way of masses will end up by coming down not to a desirable reflex of the public opinion, but to one more evasion of this sad reality.
It is necessary to be optimists. Many crises he has suffered the movies, as other mass media (the case of the radio, with the birth of the television), the crisis of the sonorous movies in the decade of 1930, the disappearance of the double program and the appearance of the VHS at the beginning of 1980 … Nevertheless, the hope is supported in the imagination of the businessmen before the need for a good advertizing strategy: the producers and, fundamentally, the distributors as last – but not less important – link of the cinematographic chain; but especially, in the loyalty of the film fans (“be refined and go to the movies”, paraphrasing an ancient advertizing slogan) so that the movies does not stop being an industry and, first of all, an art. Lights, camera, action!
(Article published in Magazine atticus 23 – September, 2013)
Cristy G. Luxuriant
Filed file: Movies
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