To bid farewell to the year 39 of the last century, Havana wore a new nightclub located on the outskirts of the city, in Marianao. Its owner, the Italo-Brazilian entrepreneur Víctor de Correa, was thinking of calling him Boite Du Nuit. But, we do not know why, he inaugurated it on December 31 as Beau Site.
Surrounded by a lush vegetation beautifully lit had a party room with capacity for approximately three hundred people, a platform with access from the sides for the show, a circular dance floor, a bar, removed from the great room from which you could enjoy of the show and a small game room. A year after its inauguration, a song that Correa had commissioned composer Alfredo Brito to rechristen Beau Site with the name that would give it world fame and that accompanies it to our days: Tropicana.
Correa had asked Brito for a song with the word "tropical" to identify the nightclub. But the composer told him that there was already a club in Havana that was called that. He proposed, then, that of Tropicana that combines the tropic with the palm tree that abounded in the premises of the new cabaret. In fact, his first stage was as escorted by two tall palms. Sergio Orta, director of the shows, liked the song so much when he heard it that he decided to open and close each show with it, which - by the way - is still heard today in the famous "Under the Stars" room. It began then, a story that, when it finishes this year, will be fulfilling its onomástico 80 of nights, drinks, music and splendor.
From recreational farm to nightclub.
If you are going to Tropicana look carefully to your left, before entering the roof that gives access to the cabaret and you will see that, just behind the former casino, stands a two-story building with a semi-colonial style that seems to hide from the view of the curious parapetada after vegetation, crystals and other elements. That was possibly the home of Regino Du Rapaire Truffin, Russia's consul in Cuba, who had called his elegant estate Villa Mina as a tribute to his wife, Mina Pérez Chaumont. Mrs. Mina turned out to be a fatal woman, a sort of "black widow" who lost, first, Mr. Truffin. A short time later he decided to get married again, now with an American senator. Did. But the man died the same day of the wedding! By that time the coffers of the bereaved were decimated and was forced to lease the farm to Victor de Correa for the astronomical times (remember that we are in the economic crisis of the 30s) of 100 pesos a month!
That is to say, that the famous nightclub that this 2019 turns 80, was initially Boite Du Nuit in the imagination and wishes of its first owner, then it was inaugurated as Beau Site and, finally, it happened to be Tropicana
The shadow of Martin Fox
Martin Fox was the man who catapulted Tropicana to the world as a symbol of good taste, glamorous entertainment, tropical fascination with European good taste, lights, water, vegetation, nocturnal enchantment, Caribbean and universal paradise ... The best cocktails, haute cuisine, dazzling shows, surrounded gambling halls of crystals and discrete at the same time ... Erotic nightlife elegant and vibrant at the same time. He did not come alone Tropicana Martin Fox, or to play all for everything with the shows. He left this to Correa. He waited with infinite patience for the Italo-Brazilian to go out immersed in his already-worn concepts of the "show", that he could not with the company, to feel the fear of bankruptcy and anguish for its consequences. And I sold him his part in the business to become a total entrepreneur, strong man, high profile in the world of gaming and entertainment. A demigod in the nooks and crannies where game and music, mafia and spectacle intertwined, top names of Cuban artists and capos of the universal mafia. At Tropicana remodeling of Martin Fox coincided with Santos Traficante and Armando Romeo, the avant-garde architect Max Borges Jr and Mayer Lanski, the emblematic sculptor Rita Longa, the immense pianist Bebo Valdés, the prominent designer Andrés García and the renowned choir director Paquito Rodino with figures from the under the world that brought and brought influences and money to the United States, Mexico and other countries of the American continent.
Now: Who was this gentleman with a short, sonorous name, with a certain Anglo-Saxon touch? How had it come to Villa Mina and how he had taken over his land, his facilities and his vegetation?
On all this I will tell you next week. Wait for it.