By: Paolo M. Bustamante
When it comes to visiting historical sites, I am always determined to make things go smoothly and I always make sure that I am not alone. So when my friend (Franz Mayo) and I planned to go to Rizal Avenue, I made sure that we follow a certain schedule. We never bring a map, just our money, a camera and our wit. I don't know with you guys but my friend and I know if something is historical, so when I saw this art deco looking structure, I could not help but to take a picture of it. Little did I know that it was once a theater that was once again forgotten by society.
The Forum Theater was built by Pablo Antonio in 1968 it not only served as a theater but it is it was once a shopping center known as the New Cinema Shopping Center and also an Office Building. Talk about three in one. Even though the Philippines was giving way to a new breed of style of architecture in the 60's which is the international style, Pablo Ocampo embraced the art deco movement and still incorporated it with his works. The Forum Theater is along Rizal Avenue near Doroteo Jose and when you ride the LRT you will see that the top floor is roofless and very much neglected.
I commend former President Marcos for building the LRT. Remember that we are the first in Southeast Asia to build such pioneering construction but there is one thing he forgot, never thought what will happen to Rizal Avenue after 20 years . In life, we always plan and sometimes, they turn out the way we expected. Rizal Avenue is now dead and the culprit is the construction of the LRT.