Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Yecla Amusement Park?

I keep a database of the films I've seen. For complicated and boring reasons one database ran from 1986 to 2009 and a second one from 2010 to present. Thanks to my brother in law the two were, finally, combined into one long list just a few days ago. Apparently I've seen 2,706 films at the cinema between 1986 and today. The busiest year was 1995 when I saw 132 films. The quietest was 2008 when I was living in Ciudad Rodrigo. In 2017 I saw 81.

Ciudad Rodrigo is in Salamanca province in Castilla y León very close to the Portuguese border. It's a clean, safe, friendly, walled town that's lovely to look at. It's a long way from anywhere though and the nearest decent sized supermarket or car dealer or cinema is in Salamanca about 90km away. In fact I'm lying because the nearest cinema or main dealer for the Mini was actually in Guarda and that was only 75kms away. Guarda though is in Portugal where they speak Portuguese and as we don't we tended to stick to Spain. It was too far to pop over to the town to see a film but we did see a couple in the multiplex in Guarda when we were there anyway having done something else. The big advantage, for us, is that the Portuguese show their films in the original language with subtitles, unlike Spain where most films are dubbed. Because it was too far to go to Salamanca or Guarda we generally saw films in the Cine Juventud in Ciudad Rodrigo.

The Juventud was a really old fashioned cinema in some huge stone built building. The admission, the sweets and the popcorn were cheap, the seats were past their best and the sound and projection quality were a bit dodgy too. As I remember it the emergency exit lead out through the gardens of the Bishop's Palace. The huge plus of course was that it was close: we could walk into town, see the film, get a drink and walk home. There was only one show a week and, sometimes, that film wasn't for us which is, I suppose, why we only saw 21 films that year.

This evening we went to see a mentalist type magic show in Pinoso at 6pm and then we hurried off to Yecla to see the 8.15 film. A movie that we missed when it was first released; La librería - The Bookshop. We've never been to the cinema in Yecla before. We've seen posters for films but I've always presumed they were shown in the municipal theatre. In fact there's a cinema, the Cine PYA (Initials for Parque Yeclano de Atracciones - the Yecla Theme Park), which apparently opened in 1952 and "closed for good" in 2013. Google has nothing to say about how or why it reopened. The cinema doesn't have much of a frontage but it does have a big screen and, by modern standards, it is a big theatre with row after row of seats on a traditional theatre stalls type plan rather than the steeply raked seats in a modern multiplex. The ticket was torn from a roll, there were no computers in sight to deal with seat allocation and there were even some red velvet curtains over the multiple entry and exit doors. It was a good sized crowd, our regular cinema, the Cinesmax in Petrer would be glad to have such a big audience, and a surprising number of them chose to sit on the same row as us. I read somewhere, in one of those strange surveys that you see from time to time, that Spaniards are one of the nationalities with the least need for personal space in the world. Spaniards, unlike Britons, like to be up close

I didn't particularly care for the film, a bit television drama, but it was a really good outing.


Myriam said...

Hi, Chris,

This was really interesting. I didn't know PYA was Parque Yeclano de Atracciones. After some search, I found it was a place with: a cinema + Ball Room + swimming pool + Bar + Etc. I suppose you also found this:

And other items like this:

And this article:

I've never been at PYA yet, but that's only because there is not V.O. I love movies and going to the cinema, but I can't stand dubbing. That's why Portuguese speak English so much better than the Spaniards!

Also, as Spaniards get so close and eat palomitas and make so much noise... I prefer to watch it at home.

:D (I am a Spaniard)

Chris Thompson said...

Hiya Myriam

You've been busy! So many comments on so many blog entries. Thanks for taking the time to read them.

Myriam said...

I like your blog. It’s so interesting to see how you become a little more Spanish every day. :) You understand and know about so many things other Brits don’t care about at all. Even many Spaniards don’t care. And it’s always interesting to see your point of view and the comparisons. Keep writing, please, about anything. It’s a nice book.

Chris Thompson said...

Well thanks again.