Metropolitan Theater


This stunning piece of art deco opened as the city’s premier opera theatre under the Americans in 1931. Today it’s in a state of utter disrepair, but there could be better times ahead: in 2015 the National Commission for Culture & the Arts took over the building and is in the process of restoring it.

The Metropolitan has a long and storied history. It was damaged in 1945 in the Battle of Manila and was used for various ignominious purposes during the following decades – boxing gym, seedy motel and gay bar, basketball court, garage and warehouse. It was restored and reopened in 1978, but eventually funding for the theatre dried out and it was shuttered up in 1996. There were fears it would be torn down, until the NCCA came to the rescue.

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