Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Manila Metropolitan Theater

"The Manila Metropolitan Theatre is an art deco building designed by the Filipino architect Juan de Guzman Arellano, and inaugurated on December 10, 1931, with a capacity of 1670 (846 orchestra, 116 in loge, and 708 in balcony). During the liberation of Manila by the United States and Filipino forces in 1945, the theatre was severely damaged, losing its some of its roofing and walls battered. After reconstruction by the Americans it gradually fell into disuse in the 1960’s. In the following decade it was meticulously restored in 1978 but again fell into decay." wikipedia

We were fortunate enough to go inside the Metropolitan Theater last Sunday. I was a bit taken a back at how dilapidated the place looked. I remember watching "Ibong Adarna" here in 1995. The building was already falling apart then but I did not expect that it would be totally abandoned in 1996.
How it looked before - a 1930's postcard of the Met during its glory days
Aerial shot of the theater during 1945
Heavily damaged during the war in 1945
Earliest photo of the Metropolitan that I found online. Caption says "Philippine Night" given by the Filipino Blue Jackets of U.S.S. Henderson in September 12, 1934. Photo was taken in one of the theater's ballrooms.
76 years after
How the ballrooms look today
The view of the stainglass window from the inside
I can almost imagine how grand this place must have been in the past
A few folks have made this place their home... complete with pet chickens and dogs
Others come here to rest under the shade
Save the Met!
Thankfully, the restoration project is in full swing now
Soon the Metropolitan will be restored to its full glory

*Old photos sourced online most through


  1. Big thanks for posting this. I have been wondering what happened to MET. I have been here for the first and last time in 1995. I do not remember the title of the play that we watched. I hope they would revitalize this carefully.

    PS. I wonder how you got in. Is it open to everyone, or available if joining a tour or something like that?

  2. It's great to hear that they're going to restore the place. My heart sunk looking at the photos of the its present state.

  3. This is one of the few remaining architectural centerpieces of Philippine art deco with murals done by some of the greatest Pinoy painters. Hopefully marestore na talga sya.

    Dito pala dati ginagawa yung show ni Ms. Vilma Santos. Way back in the 80's. Yung VIP :)

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  5. Thanks guys :)

    @wits - we joined a free walking tour. The theater is usually locked but I think the organizer requested that it be open for a bit for us. I'll share more about the walking tour in another post.

    @kayni - super :(

    @Jeanny - I didn't know that :D haha, Vilma Santos

  6. Thanks for this post. You've got a nice article

  7. :)MET is now online! Check out its website and



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