Metropolitan Theater

Padre Burgos Avenue and Arroceros Street,
Manila 1000

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Additional Info

Architects: Alejandro Arellano, Juan M. Arellano, Otillio Arellano

Functions: Live Music Venue, Live Theatre, Movies

Styles: Art Deco

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Metropolitan Theater

Located in the Ermita district of Manila city centre. The 1,600-seat Manila Metropolitan Theater was opened on December 10, 1931. Designed in an Art Deco Style by architect Juan M. Arellano who had previously been known for his Neo-Classical style architecture. He had travelled to New York to study with renown theatre architect Thomas Lamb. The Metropolitan Theatre was used for concerts and film screenings.

In 1945 while the Philippines were under Japanese occupation, the Metropolitan Theatre was bombed by the United States Air Force and it lost its roof, with only the side walls surviving. In the post war period, the damaged building was used for commercial use and as a residential space for squatters.

Repairs were carried out to the plans of architects Otilio Arellano & Alejandro Arellano, both nephews of the original architect Juan M. Arellano. The Metropolitan Theatre was reopened in December 1978. The ‘Met’ as it is affectionately called, was closed in 1996. Parts of the theatre were converted into office space after closing.

In 2007, a renovation/restoration project was begun. The seating capacity has been reduced down to 990-seats for safety reasons. The Metropolitan Theatre reopened on 10th December 2021. It was listed on the National Cultural Heritage Act as a National Cultural Treasure on June 23, 2010.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

richardtsb on June 30, 2005 at 5:07 pm

Architect- Juan Arellano; Restoration Architect (1970’s) Otillio Arellano; Style- Art Deco, using Philippine mottifs for the ornamentation; seating capacity- 1,670; status- closed in the mid 1990’s, still standing,but deteriorating; east wing used as office space; soon to be rehabilitated

richardtsb on June 25, 2007 at 7:55 pm

updates on the metropolitan theatre, got to this web site;

http://newsinfo inquirer. net/breakingnews /metro/view_ article.php? article_id= 72961

richardtsb on July 6, 2007 at 8:23 pm

more updates on the metropolitan theatre

View link

kencmcintyre on January 23, 2008 at 5:56 pm

This page has a photo, circa mid 40s:

irishcine on March 3, 2009 at 6:02 am

Visited by the President of the Republic on 27 Feb, the local press in Manila recently ran several stories about the restoration of this cinema, which seems to be ongoing. This is seemingly the third restoration, one after the war, one in the Marcos era, after which the cinema was allowed fall into decay. Seemingly, the main roof has been repaired and the orchestra pit is no longer submerged in water. (The Metropolitan is close by the river, so the cinema may be vulnerable to flooding, even if the roof is fixed.) 50m pesos has been allocated and the City of Manila is managing the rehabilitation. The House of Precast is restoring the proscenium it made in the 1930s and Kraut is working on the stained glass facade.

No re-opening date was mentioned.

irishcine on May 7, 2011 at 5:04 am

Recent interior photos suggest that many original features remain, or have been restored to near original condition. There seem to be no seating fitted, nor any use of the premises at the moment.

HowardBHaas on May 21, 2018 at 6:08 am


Jonathan Wells
Jonathan Wells on January 11, 2024 at 9:42 pm

Update: The renovated theater reopened in 2021. Operated by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts the theater hosts frequent theater, music and film events.

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