Tropicana Club

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El Tropicana
Tropicana Logo. Havana, Cuba.jpg
Tropicana Logo, 1950s
Tropicana Arcos de Cristal. Havana, Cuba.jpg
Arcos de Cristal
Former namesEdén Concert
General information
Architectural styleModern
Address72A Havana
Town or cityCoat of arms of La Habana.svg Ciudad de La Habana
CountryCuba Cuba
CoordinatesCoordinates: 23°05′39″N 82°25′08″W / 23.09417°N 82.41889°W / 23.09417; -82.41889
OpenedDecember 30, 1939
ClientMartin Fox
OwnerGuillermina Pérez Chaumont
Technical details
Structural systemThin shell concrete
MaterialReinforced concrete
Floor count5 Arches
Grounds36,000-square-meter estate
Design and construction
ArchitectMax Borges Jr.
Other designersCharles and Ray Eames, chairs
Awards and prizesColegio Nacional de Arquitectos, Cuba
Designations1953 Premio Anual
Known forThin shell structures
Other information
Number of roomsSeating capacity 1,700

El Tropicana is a cabaret in Havana, Cuba. It was launched on December 30, 1939 at the Villa Mina in Marianao and next door to El Colegio de Belen where Fidel Castro went to school. The Tropicana Cabaret is located in a lush, tropical garden six-acre (24,000 m²) estate.


Tropicana Club

The Tropicana evolved out of a nightclub called Edén Concert, operated in the late 1930s by the late by Cuban impresario Victor de Correa. Two casino operators approached de Correa about opening a combination casino and cabaret on a property in Marianao rented from Guillermina Pérez Chaumont, known as Mina. The operators felt the tropical gardens of the Villa Mina would provide a natural setting for an outdoor cabaret. In December 1939, de Correa moved his company of singers, dancers and musicians into a converted mansion located on the estate. De Correa provided the food and entertainment, while Rafael Mascaro and Luis Bular operated the casino located in the chandeliered dining room of the estate's mansion. Originally known as El Beau Site, de Correa decided to rename it The Tropicana. With a fanfare from the Alfredo Brito Orchestra El Tropicana opened on December 30, 1939.[1] Martín Fox, a well-connected gambler began renting table space in the casino. Eventually by 1950 he amassed enough profits to take over the lease of what would become The Tropicana and hire Max Borges Jr. to design an expansion that would be known as Los Arcos de Cristal.


At some point a short time later, it came under the auspices of Santo Trafficante Jr. who put Lewis McWillie, a longtime acquaintance of Jack Ruby[1], as manager of the casino. The casino of the Tropicana was operated by Frank Bishop who in the U.S. was a suspected drug trafficker. His assistant in the day to day running of the casino was Pierre Canavese, a direct associate of Salvatore Lucania, alias “Lucky” Luciano. Canavese had been deported to Italy, it was suspected that he entered Cuba with a false passport.[2]


Colegio de Arquitectos Premio, 1953.

Max Borges designed a building composed of five reinforced concrete arches and glass walls over an indoor stage.[3] When the indoor cabaret opened on March 15, 1952, it had a combined total seating capacity of 1,700 for the interior and outside areas. Its furniture designed by Charles and Ray Eames. The Arcos de Cristal won numerous international prizes when it was built and was one of six Cuban buildings included in the 1954 Museum of Modern Art exhibit entitled "Latin American Architecture since 1945." Borges won the Premio Anual, from the Colegio de Arquitectos in 1953 for his work on the Tropicana. The Arcos de Cristal may be seen in the Tropicana scene of the movie Our Man In Havana.[4]


  1. ^ Tropicana Nights: The Life and Times of The Legendary Cuban Nightclub by Rosa Lowinger with Ofelia Fox (Harcourt Books, 2005)
  2. ^ "Cosa Nostra Business Ventures – The Mafia in Cuba Part 3". Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  3. ^ "Max Borges Recio". Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  4. ^ "Our Man in Havana (1959 ) Tropicana Scene - Ernie Kovacs". Retrieved 2018-09-26.

Further reading[edit]

Nowadays Tropicana has also its own school where they are able to prepare talented young people eager to become professional dancers with the help of great teachers , most of them retired dancers ,some of them performed in Tropicana as well when they were younger , although this school helps many to make their dreams come true it also has the objective of providing Tropicana with good and prepared dancers ,as when these students graduate The company can select and hire some of them.


External links[edit]