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Cinema Paraiso is closed

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Tuesday, May 07, 2019, 11:37 (72 days ago) @ cd69

After being in business for 75 years, this theatre just shut down in Zihua. It was a one of a kind, a relic from another era, that many folks will miss for sure. I guess they just could not compete with the newer place offering the latest technology.

It wasn't the new technology but the ability of a corporate-owned business to come here and use unfair and dubious business practices to undercut local prices because they could afford to lose money in order to put the competition out of business, which they've now achieved. I expect them to up their fees in the near future.

Folks, like most of Guerrero, we live under siege here in Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa, where every business is prone to extortion by the organized criminals that have been allowed to take over Zihuatanejo. Almost anyone making money has to pay for "protection", but these corporate-owned businesses enjoy immunity from this problem. When local thugs tried extorting Oxxo, Oxxo simply closed all its businesses until the government and the criminals came to an "understanding". Zihuatanejo is not unlike the old west where there is still no law and order and the line between organized crime and legal authority is quite blurred, to say the least. We have no professional local police force that can apply the laws and investigate crimes. They simply show up after a crime and look "important". Everything else is show.

Cine Paraíso had been hanging on while new formats and technology and especially pirated videos made their profitability tenuous. Even when they invested in new technology, we suffered economic hardship in Zihuatanejo from criminals and bad tourist seasons and natural disasters and especially video piracy that made it cheaper to rent or buy a black market video than to go to the movie theater. The climate of criminality keeps a lot of businesses just hanging on by a thread. So when Cinemex opened up here and ignored local rates, instead selling tickets for around half the price, that was the straw that broke the camel's back. Ahhh, good old unbridled unethical capitalism. Putting family businesses out of business and making large corporate executives even filthier rich.

Now several families have lost their source of income that had sustained some of them for generations.

Personally I will never attend a movie at Cinemex. But apparently living by our principles makes Lupita and me dinosaurs. A sad commentary on today's world.

I have memories of attending movies there back in the early 70's under open skies, when the seats were simple long wooden benches, and if you had to go to the bathroom you urinated at the front of the theater on the wall that was painted white for the screen.

Now if we want to go to a movie theater we have to go by taxi to Ixtapa to the other only family-owned movie theater in our town, also owned by long-time friends. No more walking a couple of blocks to a friendly local movie theater owned by our friendly neighbors even though we live downtown. And just like that Zihuatanejo loses another piece of its enchanting culture.


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