By: Paolo M. Bustamante
Whenever I feel alone, i find solace in visiting historical sites.When I was alone during Christmas break I visited the Malate Church, When my friend (now acquaintance) stopped speaking to me, I went to the Manila City Hall and now my friends are all in Cebu for Sinulog, went straight to the Metropolitan Theater. I really wanted to go to Cebu and cover the festival but I have to finish what I have started. I need to cover the remaining stand-alone theaters in Manila before January ends so let's get started. After the feast of the Black Nazarene, I went to straight to the Metropolitan Theater.
In a place as beautiful as The Metropolitan Theater you could not help but notice the littlest of details, from the muses that was sculpted by Francesco Riccardo Monti to the "batik" prints that can be seen on both sides of the theater, The Metropolitan Theater is and will forever be the the most beautiful theater in Manila. It is/was hailed the best art deco structure in the Philippines. Located is in Padre Burgos Drive beside the Quezon Bridge, this theater can accommodate 1,670 people. It was built by Juan Arellano in 1931 unfortunately and was badly damaged during WWII and for three decades the theater was used as a boxing arena, a basketball court and was occupied by the informal settlers. During the time of former President Marcos, his wife Imelda and Ortilio Arellano (Juan Arellano's nephew) tried to restore it during the late 1970's. Sadly it was closed during the 90's.
There are efforts to save this theater but sadly until today the curtains has not been raised. If ever there are plans on demolishing this theater I will be the first one to tie myself to one of the muses on top of the theater. It would be sad and will be a big loss for our future generations, that's why I am documenting all of this existing theaters. Just a little sacrifice for my city and my country.