The Cine Robles 70 de Cuautla, owned by businessman Carlos Robles Samperio, became one of the main movie complexes in the state of Morelos for more than four decades.
The room was inaugurated precisely at the beginning of the decade of the 70s, on Saturday, September 30, 1972 in a property where the Hotel San Diego was located in the old Cuautla, next to the Plaza and Fort of Galeana “Alameda” , in the historic center.
The hotel that had operated since the beginning of the 20th century, occupied practically half a block, the same space where half a century later the huge movie theater was built, which had 2,500 seats. This made it the largest cinema in the state of Morelos.
In addition, due to the same dimension of the space, it had the largest screen, which was protected by a huge curtain that was manually traversed every time the show was going to start; It was a huge sliding curtain that sheltered the “white beast” that was 32 meters wide by 12 meters high.
“There was no bigger screen and theater in the state, nor in Cuernavaca,” affirm descendants of Mr. Robles, who happened at the end of the 90s, in 1998.
The foundations of the colossus
Carlos Robles Samperio, coming from the capital of the country, before starting the business at a time where cinemas really were, worked alongside Manuel Gual Vidal, jurist, teacher and politician, who was Secretary of Public Education of Mexico during the mandate of the President of the Republic Miguel Alemán Valdez (1946-1952), and years before, (1944), he was rector of the highest house of studies, UNAM.
“Manuel Gual built and inaugurated the Narciso Mendoza and Palacio Azteca Cinemas, the first on January 6, 1952 and the second a few months later,” says the Cuautla chronicler, Samuel Hernández Beltrán.
“In this way, Mr. Carlos Robles began his relationship with movie theaters, since upon the death of Gual Vidal in 1954, he rented the Narciso Mendoza cinema to the Gual family; from there began the story that in almost two decades later would bear fruit with the construction of the Robles 70 ”.
Venue of major events of social and cultural life
The room also had a dressing room, since throughout its life it also hosted artistic, musical and theatrical events, school closings, and protests by mayors of Cuautla, among others.
It was also the venue for the traditional civic cultural evening on the occasion of the birth of General José María Morelos y Pavón, on September 29, events that were headed by the state government and the municipal government as host.
In a space adjacent to Robles 70 within the same premises, the “Xochipilli Calli” Art Room, which screened films exclusively for adults, and the Tivoli, both much smaller, also operated for several years.
Since its opening with two Mexican films, María that September 30, 1972, and Sunday October 1 Indio, the Robles 70 Cinema attracted entire families from Cuautla and the region to see on the big screen the premieres of the time and that arrived to be big box office hits in all genres: comedy, action, fantasy, horror, suspense, and of course, the children’s. At the beginning, Mexican productions of the time were opened, however over time it became more defined by the films produced in Hollywood, the Mecca of Cinema, its workers say.
Among those that stood out for their box office impact were George Lucas’ Star Wars Star Wars released in 1977, ET the Extraterrestrial in 1982, and Titanic in 1997.
Other films of international cinema shown here in the beginning in the 70s of great success were: The Exorcist by William Friedkin in 1973, Jaws by Steven Spielberg in 1975, King Kong in 1976, The Hunter by Michael Cimino in 1978, Alien The Eighth Ridley Scott’s passenger in 1979.
Later, in the early 1980s, The Shining with Jack Nicholson was screened; Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back; Clash of the Titans in the year 1981; The Thing and Gandhi in 1982, Flashdance and The Return of the Jedi in 1983, Karate Kid and Terminator in 1984; in that same year, Ghostbusters, Gremlins, and The Neverending Story. Back to the Future in 1985, Aliens The Return in 1986, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1989.
The cinema in its beginnings opened its doors from 3:00 p.m., long lines formed around the box office, whose function of a double billboard began at 4:00 p.m.
Fridays traditionally became the favorite day of students, especially from junior high and high school who met to spend a healthy afternoon with friends; some do not hesitate, going to paint, and others more to see the film next to their beloved; in fact, the cinema was also a silent witness to several beginnings of romance that later culminated in marriage.
The giant defeated by technology
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, with the invention of the VCR and the gradual opening of movie rental clubs in Beta and VHS formats, movie revenues began to suffer.
The gradual loss of viewers made the film giant stagger, which was also aggravated with the arrival of digital cinema, which was gaining ground with the opening of other cinemas.
Finally, what the 1985 earthquake did not do, which did not affect its structure to a large extent, technological advance did, ending up sentencing his death at the close of the 20th century.
When it became unaffordable, the Robles 70 Cinema had its last function in the month of August 2010, the last of its screenings was the film Paris en la Mira, to become from there on a Commercial Plaza, which as people remember Robles 70 continues to call him.