Monday, 30 April 2012

Forum Theater

 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.


  1. excellent photos and a noble advocacy. keep posting

  2. Thanks for stirring up childhood memories... the theater bldg actually burned down in the 80's, totally eating up the whole theater area, leaving the inside hollow. The facade is all that's left now plus the small commercial units (ground level) facing Lope de Vega St. This was the second time, the first one was in the late 70's but they were able to restore the theater after a few years, turning it into a live stage theater ala Manila Opera House. My granparents used to live right
    across the street at the back of the bldg.

  3. Paolo, i salute you. excellent blog documenting stand alone theaters. it's amazing that you have the time to do this while still a university student. your list of places is almost endless. great job. i really enjoy reading. thanks. Mitch

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