The Manila Metropolitan Theater Set to Reopen This April 2021


Newly restored Manila Metropolitan Theater set to open in 2021

The Manila Metropolitan Theater (MET) is set to reopen its doors after 25 years of closure since 1996.

In a Facebook post by the National Quincentennial Committee, it was announced that the cultural landmark will reopen just in time for the 500th anniversary of the Victory of Mactan.

The event will also serve as the maiden show of the theater after its longtime closure. Commemorative rites will be held at the Liberty Shrine in Barangay Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City, in the morning. The shrine will also be the co-host of the evening show with the Metropolitan Theater.

New Manila Metropolitan Theather photo via NQC Facebook Page

The Grand Dame of Manila

A National Cultural Treasure, the Metropolitan Theater was inaugurated in 1931. It was designed by Filipino architect Juan M. Arellano, one of the most notable architects of his time.

Before its closure, the Metropolitan Theater housed significant cultural events in history such as zarzuelas, dramas, variety shows, pageants, and more. Several attempts were made to rehabilitate the cultural gem for performance art but to no avail. Although it was closed for a long time, the theater was misused for many events during post-war. What was once a celebrated establishment became dilapidated and destroyed. Thankfully, after years of disputes and damages to the building, the restoration journey began.

Journey to Restoration

In 2015, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts purchased the MET from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), which prompted the theater’s rehabilitation and restoration.

Along with the help from the National Museum of the Philippines, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, and representatives from the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Metropolitan Theater’s rehabilitation was started.

The MET is still currently undergoing renovations before the maiden show this April 27, 2021. According to a Facebook post by the NCCA, they are working for a partnership with Manila Mayor Isko Moreno to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the city in the theater this June 2021.

Regaining its Former Glory

Known to be one of the best Art Deco style buildings in the Philippines, the Metropolitan Theater’s reopening is much-awaited by the general public to see how much its original structure was preserved. Soon enough, we can all take a peek inside the newly-restored building, and probably, when it’s safer, we can all go and watch the Philippines’ artistic performances live in this historic establishment.

NCCA Public Affairs and Information Section/Paul Sugano
NCCA Public Affairs and Information Section/Paul Sugano

Once reopened, we hope that this cultural establishment will be home to future cultural events that all generations of locals and tourists will enjoy.

Many Filipinos seemed to have dearly missed the glory days of the MET before it closed its doors to the public in 1996. Have you been to the Manila Metropolitan Theater before? Share with us your memorable experience in the comment section below!

The Manila Metropolitan Theater is located at Padre Burgos Avenue corner Arroceros Street in Ermita, Manila.

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