View and visit one of Santa Clara’s points of pride along the main historic square in the heart of the city.
La Caridad Theatre has stood as an impressive neoclassical structure at the northeast corner of Leoncio Vidal Park for more than 100 years. See a performance in this significant structure, one of Santa Clara’s cultural highlights. It was built in 1885.
From the park, appreciate the clean lines of the three-story building, with open arches at the entry, balconied second-story windows and a railed rooftop deck. One of the earliest singers on the stage was the Italian tenor Enrico Caruso, whose marvelous voice was loved worldwide.
Other noted performers included the National Ballet of Cuba, Argentine songstress Libertad Lamarque, Spanish singer and dancer Lola Flores, Cuban ballerina Alicia Alonso and Cuban pianist and composer Chucho Valdés. Today, performances range from national and international singing and dance to excellent local choral groups. Enjoy the outstanding acoustics and view original furnishings and a beautiful ceiling fresco of angels and cherubs.
When Santa Clara, located in Cuba’s center, grew as a hub for east-west travel and trade, the town’s infrastructure developed. The theater was built and named after Cuba’s patron saint, Our Lady of Charity. Appreciate two additional elements of relevance for the theater’s name. La caridad means charity. When the theater opened, proceeds from early performances were given to charities in support of Santa Clara’s poor people. The funds for constructing the theater were provided as a charitable act by Marta Abreu de Estévez, a wealthy philanthropist of the city of Santa Clara. She also contributed to schools, public utilities, homes for the elderly and poor, public laundry facilities and even a weather station. See a statue of this beloved benefactress in Vidal Park.
La Caridad Theatre’s open days and hours vary. Stroll past while visiting Leoncio Vidal Park to see if the doors are open for a tour of the interior. Pay a small admission fee. Alternatively, hire a local tour guide who may be able to arrange entry and provide additional information. For the best chance to view the inside, check the schedule of events and attend a performance.