For those whose visit does not coincide with any festivals, there is plenty of other entertainment. The Ballet Martiniquais (T 63 43 88) is one of the world’s most prestigious traditional ballet companies. Representing everyday scenes in their dance, they wear colourful local costume and are accompanied by traditional rhythms.
Information about performances and venues, usually one of the large hotels (Novotel, Caritan, Carayou, Méridien, Bakoua and Batelière) can be obtained from the tourist office. Every year in July, SERMAC (Parc Floral et Culturel and at the Théâtre Municipal) organizes a 2-week arts festival in Fort-de-France with local and foreign artistes performing plays and dance, T 71 66 25. CMAC (Centre Martiniquais d’Action Culturelle, Avenue Franz Fanon, Fort-de-France, T 61 76 76) organizes plays, concerts, the showing of films and documentaries all year round and an annual festival in December.
There are several comfortable, air-conditioned cinemas in Fort-de-France and the various communes. No film is in English; tickets cost 30F. The 2 main theatres are the Théâtre Municipal in the lovely old Hôtel de Ville building and Théâtre de la Soif Nouvelle in the Place Clemenceau.
Nightclubs abound and tend to be very expensive (70F to get in and the same price for a drink, whether orange juice or a large whisky). Night clubs inc Le New Hippo, 24 Blvd Allègre, Fort-de-France, T 60 20 22; La Vesou at Hotel Carayou, Zipp’s Club, Dumaine, Francois, T 54 65 45. Casinos charge 60F entrance fee if you are not staying at the hotel, take passport or identification card. There are several bars (piano bar or café théâtre) where you can listen to various types of music. At Coco Loco, rue Ernest Déproge in Fort-de-France, regular jazz sessions are held, T 63 63 77. Others inc Chez Gaston, rue Felix Eboué, La Carafe, rue Lamartine, Le Pagayo, Rond Point du Vietnam Héroïque, Le Blue Cup, 7 rue Lamartine, all in Fort-de-France. Most large hotels lay on Caribbean-style evening entertainment for tourists; limbo dancers, steelbands, etc. Hôtel Meridien has the island’s main casino 2300-0300, proof of identity is required for entry. Hotel La Batelière also has a casino. Choubouloute, the local entertainments guide, is sold in most newsagents, priced 5F.