Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Manila Metropolitan Theater

One of the most interesting art-deco building designed by the Great Filipino Architect Juan M. Arellano, the same person who designed the Manila Central Post Office Building and Jones Bridge.

The Manila Metropolitan Theater also know as MET, according to the historian there used to be an old theater during the Spanish colonial period ( Teatro del Prinsipe Alfonso XII ) which was built near the present day Metropolitan Theater . The old theater was the main focal building within the large and sprawling Plaza Arroceros in 1862.

In 1862, the Teatro del Principe Alfonso XII was opened to the public and several foreign companies were hired to perform operettas, zarzuelas and three-act plays. On June 11, 1865, “La Conquista de Jolo” was staged there and it glorified the military campaigns of Governor Antonio Urbiztondo in the south, in 1750. Another play dedicated to the Spaniards who waged war in Jolo, Sulu  “Una Pagina de Gloria” was presented in April, 1876.

One of four Siamese dancer

The MET opened its door to the public on the year 1931, where several presentations were held on its hall. But during the 2nd World War, MET was severely devastated. Through the effort of former First Lady Imelda Marcos, it was reconstructed on the year 1978. Unsettled issues between Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and local government of Manila lead to the closure of MET on 1996.

The sculpture of eve was done by the Italian sculptor Francesco Monti

Inside the Met Theater

 The MET Proscenium 

During its heyday, the theater could accommodate 1,670 people: 846 in the orchestra section, 116 in the loge and 708 in the balcony areas.

Some interesting art in the side of the theater lobby.

 The empty ballroom

The chandelier were made of wood and brass and was installed in the 1978 rennovation done by Mrs.Imelda Marcos.

 One of National Artist Fernando Amorsolo’s murals

 The Lobby

the interesting banana ceiling at MET Theater

Some amenities and interesting art-deco of MET Theater

The seating arrange 

MET Canteen

MET Entrance

 The terrace 

 The torch

Backdoor Entrance

| Post Sign : The Metropolitan theater was done by Arcadio Arellano ( brother of Juan Arellano ) Juan Arellano with collaboration with Francesco Monti for sculpture, Isabelo Tampingco for the wooden sculpture. 

I wanna thank Lawrence Chan of Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club, who conduct a free Postal Heritage Walking Tour which they held every third Sunday of the month. You may contact Sir Lawrence Chan at l_rence_2003@yahoo.com to join the trip.

By the way its one of my bucketlist! Atlast unti na lang! 

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Some photos by : Mathew Dumlao an Electronics and Communications engineering student who continually tries to find moments worthy of being captured. Member of Powerhouse Project (An AXLPPI subsidiary)


  1. I feel sad every time I see MET, I love the architectural structure of this building.. too bad, the said theater looks more of haunted house today..

    Six years ago, I heard that the Manila Gov't is planning some restoration project for this old building unfortunately, up to now nothing has happened.

  2. mas nakakatakot to oh yaicks bakas na bakas ung kalumaan

  3. sayang di natuloy pagsapok natin d2 last time.
    looks creepy sa loob.
    mukhang napabayaan na ang lugar.
    kelan ang pix neto?

    1. OO nga eh sayang no. dami pa naman ako hustong kunan sa loob nito.
      Taken last 20 May 2012.

  4. sayang naman ang building na yan.bakit napabayaan.tsk.tsk.tsk.

  5. sana naman ayusin or restore ng Manila govt yan.

  6. Nice axl! Like ko yong kuha sa loob ng teatro. :D

  7. Nice post. I feel sad though that many historical structures in the country have been forgotten and left to decay.
    Nakapanood pa ako ng play sa MET as part of a school field trip. That was 1992.

  8. Sayang talaga ang MET, sana ma-renovate ito at hindi ma-demolish kagaya nung Jai-Alai Bldg... :(

  9. Nakakapanghinayang talaga ang Metropolitan theater, naalala ko dito pa nagperform ang kuya ko nung maging part sya ng play ng ibong adarna ...

  10. me too. i feel deeply saddened everytime madaanan nmin yan...i would always tell my kids, "o ayan, ayan tingnan nio yang building na yan"...to which they'll snapped, "para nmang haunted house yan".
    sayang ang mga art pieces. sana nman mgawan ng paraan ng manila govt marestore yan...or is the building condemned na?

  11. araw-araw ko yang nadadaanan noon, from Quiapo to Baclaran and vice versa. Maganda pa dati. nakakalungkot na ganyan na ngayon ang itsura ng MET theater ngayon. :(

  12. such a waste... hope that the government pushes through for its restoration

  13. sana marestore yan, sayang..super sayang...lagi pa namang nadadaanan yan kpag ppnta ka SM Manila

  14. I hope this place will be kept for our kids' sake

  15. Thanks for the feature, I hope that every citizen of this country would be aware of what is happening inside the MET through our monthly guided tour . We hope that in our small way , this theater would be finally be restored .

    BTW the Amorsolo paintings ( originals ) 2 grand pianos and other items are now stored in GSIS museum for safe keeping. The ones found inside the theater are tarpaulin posters replica of the original.

  16. Wow, this is a really nice theater. Hopefully our government will be able to restore this and take good care of it for the future generations.