Manila Grand Opera Hotel

Topics: Opera, Manila Light Rail Transit System, Metro Manila Pages: 4 (1049 words) Published: March 10, 2013
History Manila Grand Opera Hotel

The Manila Grand Opera House was built in the mid-19th century as the H.T. Hashim’s National Cycle Track, a circular wooden structure with a nipa roof. 1890, the name was changed to the Teatro Nacional (National Theater), where the Russian Circus and some American theater companies performed. The name was subsequently changed to the Manila Grand Opera House after an extensive expansion of the original theater and its conversion to an opera house in time for the visit of an Italian opera company in 1902, after the American takeover of the Philippines,[ and was used as the location of the inauguration of the members of the First Philippine Assembly on October 16, 1907. The theater served as the home for theater productions, operas and zarzuelas in the Manila area until the onset of World War II. Toribio Teodoro, then referred to as the "shoe king of the Philippines", acquired the property in 1942 and used the MGOH as his residence during the Japanese occupation and the Second Philippine Republic, at which his house and shoe factory were seized by Japanese forces. Floods and a fire damaged the theater in 1943 and 1944, respectively, with reconstruction efforts commencing after the war.

By the 1950s, the theater, equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for both theatrical and cinematic productions, was dubbed its famous title "The Theater with a History".] It provided daily entertainment for Manila residents, charging 85 centavos for admission to one theatrical production and one movie. In addition to plays and movie showings, operas, concerts and bodabil (vaudeville) performances were occasionally staged in the complex.Ownership of the complex shifted from the heirs of Teodoro to former Philippine Ambassador to Laos Antonio Cabangon Chua in the 1960s, by which then the MGOH had become a cinema. Part of Cabangon Chua's plan for the complex include the construction of a hotel at the complex.

As economic activity shifted from...
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