Manila Metropolitan Theater

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“Something that possesses true beauty such as The Met will never lose its allure and splendor regardless of age and time.” Anyone who passes by Lawton, Manila in one way or another may have seen the Manila Metropolitan Theater, The Met, or the “great dame” of theaters as others would call it. It is a structure still noticeable for its grandeur and opulence despite being built in the year 1931.

On March 3, 2013, we made our way to Padre Burgos Avenue, Manila, to witness the true magnificence of The Met. The aged Art Deco style building that was designed by Filipino Arch. Juan Arellano came into view and noticeable right away were its pinkish faded walls adorned with cloud engravings, spires, and bronze sculptured deities by the Italian sculptor Francesco Riccardo. Capiz and colorful tiles in an ethnic Malayan design are used for lights. And at the center of it entrance sits the stained glass made by Kraut Art Glass, a German company. Inside the lobby, noticeable are the woodcarvings of mangoes, bamboos, bananas and native plants on the walls and ceiling. By the staircase are sculptures of Malakas & Maganda and the paintings of Fernando Amorsolo. The proscenium arch is seen by the theater stage in perfect view of the 1670 seats. But what could be the most impressive part is the Grand Ballroom—a striking room that has regal chandeliers, parquet wood flooring and a balcony leading to an open area.

Our visit made us realize that during its celebrated days, The Met is home to theatrical performances, operas, musicals and zarzuelas but today, sadly it is left dusty, abandoned with falling debris, rooms filled with flood water or having dilapidated floors, cobwebs and litter. But despite this, its magnificence craves to be revived. It is a treasure waiting to relive its glory and be a testament to the true beauty of Manila.
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