Archive for October 30th, 2008
Santa Cruz pours on the charm

Squeezing a jaunty tune out of his accordian, the beggar in Calle del Castillo was fighting a losing battle as heavy rain scattered Santa Cruz visitors today. Leaving the sunny south behind, I had gone up north with John Beckley, owner of Sorted Sites, who use my scribblings on many web and blog sites. After a couple of promising meetings, I declined the offer of a lift back, to defy the weather and go exploring, there is always something new to see in Santa Cruz.

Cine VictorA tram ride took me to La Paz and a chance to pay my respects to the Cine Victor, the grand old cinema that is nearing the end of its days. Opened on April 22 1954, architect Jose Enrigue Marrero Regalado, left his creative signature on the ornate and imposing building, especially the inside. Downstairs 550 seats have welcomed many a keen film goer, and another 225 upstairs have ensured that a night at the pictures was an enjoyable experience in the heart of the capital.

Sadly time has overtaken the building and a 5 year commitment by the Tenerife government to show special film seasons and maintain the general running of the cinema, ends on December 31. Today at 8.30 pm they were showing Blithe Spirit, from 1945, the last in a season of films by British director David Lean, to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth.

Tomorrow, Friday October 31, the TEA, Tenerife Espacio de Artes is officially opened and they will include film shows in their vast programme of arts. The lights are dimming for the Cine Victor as their are no takers to continue tearing the entrance tickets at a cost of 6,000 euros rent per month, it may end up converted into accomodation or commercial units.

Cine Victor inside

Moving down towards Plaza de España, I darted from shelter to shelter until reaching the entrance to the Castillo de San Cristobal, or at least the remains of it. Built in 1575 with 4 mighty corner bastions, the castle was a key defence in warding off would be invaders like Lord Nelson in July 1797. Originally it was in the sea on a reef called Blas Diaz but as land was reclaimed it became a dry fortress until its demolition in 1928. When the renovation of the Plaza de España began a few years ago, part of the original battlements and a canon were unearthed and an underground display gallery has been set up explaining the history of the area. Entry is free via a stairway on the marina side of the Plaza de España, and the new opening times are 10am to 6pm on weekdays, closed Tuesdays, and 11am to 7pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Castillo de San Cristobal

Braving the rain again, i had decided to treat myself to a new CD Tenerife shirt from the official club shop in Callejon de Combate, just up from the Plaza de España, turn right at the BBVA bank in Calle de Castillo and then left between the other 2 banks. Was it to be the 2nd strip blue shirt or the 3rd strip claret shirt? Sod it, I got them both. Feeling a little guilty at this extravagence, I needed a sign that I had done the right thing. On the walk back to the bus station, I passed a huge billboard featuring Liverpool striker Fernando Torres in his modelling role for El Corte Ingles department store. The look on his face confirmed that he approved of my wild purchase, good enough for me. Of course there will be economies as a result of this spending, so all anyone will get from me this christmas is a walnut and a satsuma – still it’s the thought that counts. Â