LA68 in Merida has run out of money and will close Dec. 20.
LA68 in Merida has run out of money and will close Dec. 20.

Mérida, Yucatán — LA68, or La Casa de la Cultura Elena Poniatowska —which for seven years has been on the top of anyone’s go-to list for art and culture here — announced the end of its run on Dec. 20.

Paula Haro Poniatowska, who founded the center and named it for her famous mother, confirmed the sad news today.

“Is too expensive and we can’t maintain it anymore,” said Haro Poniatowska.

“We will close with a flourish and from this moment on all those who wish to participate in the farewell are welcome!” LA68 wrote on Facebook.

Horrified reactions followed.

LA68 started seven years ago with a focus on children. Photo: Facebook
LA68 started seven years ago with a focus on children. Photo: Facebook

“The work that you perform is very important,” wrote one fan. “What’s gonna happen to the film buff who attends every week? I don’t want to go see garbage at Cinépolis. Please do not close.”

“Noooo please don’t lock,” wrote another, “LA68 is a cultural center of quality, a quiet space, historic, traditional and out of the ordinary, for lovers of the alternative, film, art, reading, and recreational activities.”

Some held out hope for a reprieve, such as this follower from Mexico City: “I hope it’s not definitive. If I come back, I hope to meet you. I love this place. It brings back fond memories.”

LA68 was founded in 2008 with a summer art course for children. Ever since, it has been a cozy and bohemian enclave in a restored corner colonial in Santiago, offering a library, a gallery, a shop, a restaurant in a cental courtyard, an open-air indie cinema in another.

On Twitter, LA68 asked the public to share their thoughts: “This is no time for sadness. It is time to remember. Send your best memories of LA68 (images or chronic) with #adiosLA68.”