Manila Metropolitan Theater

Also known as Manila Metropolitan Theater / Locale: Ermita, Manila / Inaugurated 1931, reinaugurated 1978 / Architect: Juan Arellano, 1931; Otilio Arellano, 1978

“On Wings of Tune” was the phrase that inspired Juan Arellano when he created the Metropolitan Theater. In the event the constructing was inaugurated on ten December 1931, with a software that included audio, drama, and movie, it had been hailed as A different monumental masterpiece from the gifted architect. Arellano experienced designed the Legislative Constructing along with the Write-up Office Creating, each inside the neoclassic style. The Metropolitan Theater was stunningly unique. A. V. H. Hartendorp, editor of Philippine Journal, explained it as “modern day expressionistic.” It absolutely was in truth certainly one of Arellano’s passionate works, and was affected by art deco, then in its heyday. Even though the nearby metropolitan theater Legislative and Write-up Workplace Properties have been stately and monochromatic, the Metropolitan Theater was festive and vibrant.

The website was an 8,393.58-square-meter large amount from the Mehan Gardens, amongst Burgos Avenue and Arroceros Avenue, which were leased by town of Manila towards the Metropolitan Theater Enterprise. The one million pesos required for that undertaking was raised by community subscription. Arellano was despatched to America to study with Thomas W. Lamb, an American specialist in theater style and design.

The front of your theater was crowned by a wall gently curved at the top, in opposition to which increase a series of pinnacles. The entrance resembled a theater proscenium. About the decrease half were doorways with iron grills depicting stylized birds of paradise, and around the higher 50 percent was a considerable window of coloured glass. This exterior proscenium was set in opposition to undulating partitions decorated with brilliantly colored batik designs.

The 2-Tale lobby, with large stairways at Just about every stop in addition to a balcony overlooking the entrance, was the exquisite setting for Fernando Amorsolo’s murals The Dance and Background of Music, and the Italian sculptor Francesco Monti’s present day statues. The theater suitable was flanked by backyard courts all-around which have been two-story buildings housing the ballroom, cafe, offices, and stores.


The initial ability with the auditorium was one,670: 846 from the orchestra, 708 during the balcony, and 116 within the loge. Enshrined higher than the proscenium were figures depicting Songs, Tragedy, Comedy, and Poetry, set amid an variety of jewel-like plaques. Adorning the plain partitions were being lamps, tall tapering tubes of translucent glass in the shape of bamboo stalks. To the ceiling was a luxuriant variety of tropical fruits and foliage. Hartendorp described the acoustics as “faultless” and the lights as “exceptional.”


The auditorium was destroyed in the final days of Globe War II, and its subsidiary properties were employed by different institutions. The constructing was restored beneath the supervision of Otilio Arellano, a nephew of Juan Arellano, and was inaugurated on 4 February 1978. The Metropolitan functioned approximately the end of your Marcos period in 1986. It ran into monetary challenges but continued operation right until it shut within the eighties. Deserted for a number of decades, the Metropolitan was taken in excess of with the Nationwide Commission for Lifestyle as well as Arts in 2015.