By: Paolo M. Bustamante
My parents used to go to this place called Quiapo in Manila to hear mass, to watch movies and to shop. My mom used to tell me that Quiapo was the shopping capital of Manila. The place has everything from jewelries to fortuntellers that's why last Saturday I paid the Old Quiapo a visit.
I was with my driver and my mom. My mom stayed inside the Quiapo Church to pray while I wondered around the place. Before going down the car, my driver told me to watch myself and to be alert for snatchers and lurking criminals. I wanted to go roam around but I really don't know where to start, Until I saw the Life Theater (T. Villonco Building)
I have read so much about the stand-alone theaters in Manila that's why it is in my bucket list to watch a movie in those stand-alone theaters but the problem is that there are only two, i think, that are functioning along Quezon Boulevard. The Ginto and Times Theater.
The Life theater was constructed during the late 1930's by Pablo Antonio wherein he incorporated the Art-Deco Architectural style, The Life Theater can seat at around 800 people. It was damaged during WWII but it quickly recovered and started operating again as a stand-alone theater in 1950's.
It could not keep up with sudden boom of shopping malls in Manila because people prefer watching movies in malls rather than in stand-alone theaters that is why they converted the building into a mall. What a loss.