A Repugnant Personality in Havana Movie Theaters

Yanelys Nuñez Leyva

HAVANA TIMES — Movie theaters are sacred places to me. Regularly attending the screening of the best selections of historical and contemporary cinematography is almost always a sublime pleasure.

The feelings and emotions that a film can transmit to us in a cinema theater are different from those we get watching TV while sitting at home.

One could say that my relationship with this space is fairly limited since I’ve only gotten close to it in the last five years. Nevertheless, since I consider it to be a cultural realm of great importance, I’m compelled to reflect on one of its most common and yet disgusting figures.

There is a certain is type of guy who will enter the hall dressed and acting like everyone else. He often sits off by himself perhaps to consider the panorama in detail.

When the lights dim to begin the projection, something happens: he will quickly move over to a seat next to some woman sitting alone.

After a while, this individual begins to lose any and all interest in the film and begins to focus himself on the thighs or the breasts of the woman beside him. His contriving has begun.

With no attempt to conceal his action, he will start rubbing his crotch, though this is at the risk of eliciting screams or insults from the nearby female.

There’s no usher to respond to the inconvenience suffered by the viewer since this matter goes undetected by everyone else.

Even when these theaters are the most crowded — during the various Havana film festivals — these characters are scheming to engage in their “sexual fantasies.”

The cradle of these pajusos (masturbators) — as they’ve been dubbed — appears to me to be the Payret Cinema, located in Old Havana. Inevitably, though, this behavior has spread to other theaters in town.

Cuba’s cinematheque par excellence, the Charlie Chaplin Theater, was the only one that had been exempt from these types of guys. Yet it too has now been taken over.

It’s unfortunate that people who attend movie theaters have to confront this situation.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the solution. All I can do is keep my senses and my reflexes sharp in order to succeed at watching a movie in the cinema without being bothered.

One thought on “A Repugnant Personality in Havana Movie Theaters

  • Where are the ushers?! Probably of no help, andyway, even if you could find one. Next time you are bothered by “pajusos,” bring a large pair of scissors with you, take them out, and, putting on a crazed face, turn to him and say: “!CUT, CUT, CUT!”

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