Censorship -- nothing else if you were under the age of ?.
Well, there was no way I and my friends weren’t going
to see any movie shown at the old club in Tia Juana. No girls
included in this group.
The old club house was over by the
tennis courts which contained an elevated projector shack
at one end of the courts outside the fence and the screen
which was at the other end of the courts. Behind the screen
is where they kept the chairs (folding captain chairs) just
below the projector shack inside the fence was a small area
with a tin roof in the event there was rain -- it rained frequently
depending upon the season.
First: The projector booth: Phillip
Short’s father operated the two projectors which utilized
carbon rods to generate the light. You would watch the screen
for a mark in the top right hand corner which meant the next
projector was coming on stream. I used to visit the booth
to watch Phillip’s father run the projectors. He would
change the carbon rods when they got short and I would watch
him adjust them and the light they cast as the electricity
arced between them. Occasionally the film would jam and you
could watch it burn on the screen. We all ran to the club
house for another soda or headed into the nearby shrubs to
piss. Well there was only one way onto the courts and the
seating area and that was through the tennis court entrance
which is where the ticket seller/taker sat. When the movie
was no-apta an armed Guardia National guard stood there to
prevent the underage children from entering. The guard had
a nice Mauser Model 98 carbine but no ammo – go figure.
The Work Around: Adjacent to the projector
booth was a tall leafy tree with smooth bark which was not
that difficult to climb and so after the newsreel and cartoon
and the tennis court light were turned off in preparation
for the movie we boys would shinny up the tree and find a
spot where we could see the screen through the tree leaves.
The tree resembled one with great hanging fruit with all the
boys up in it. Occasionally the Guardia guard would walk around
looking for children and we would hug the tree limbs like
an iguana. Not a peep out of us.
There in that tree, year after year
we watched No Apta movies. We left our mark in that tree because
the bark was easy to carve and if you climbed that tree and
looked at the limbs you would find the names of all the boys
who climbed it including rudimentary carvings of naked girls,
At the end of the show before the tennis
court lights would turn on we would shinny down the tree and
scatter heading home before our parents got home or if they
did not care (that's my folks) we came home and went to bed
with visions of what we saw swimming in our heads and just
waiting to talk about it the next day.