On Tuesday, the management of the Metropolitan Theater previewed to the media their facilities for its reopening for special events in Manila.
This Wednesday, the Manila local government unit will hold a ceremony to recognize the Manileños who have contributed significantly in their respective fields.
According to initial information from Julius Leonen, chief of the Manila Public Information Office, there will be a posthumous award for the slain frontliners who led the fight against COVID-19.
Recognition will also be given to the city’s top business and real property taxpayers.
Metropolitan Theater, built in 1931 and designed by Juan Arellano, can be considered a historical and cultural landmark. But then it was neglected and just rotted.
1980 was its last operation as a theater, and after that, it became a boxing ring, bar, and more. In 1996, the building was finally closed, and there was much discussion over the renovation of the Met.
In 2015, ownership of the building went to the National Commission on Culture, and the Arts and rehabilitation immediately began.
According to CJ Serrano, visitor services officer, large parts of the theater have been restored to Arellano’s original design.
Metropolitan Theater ready for special events in Manila
They also reduced bleachers area or seats. And after more than 5 years of rehabilitation, its door will open again.
Metropolitan Theater was supposed to open several times this year. Still, due to the pandemic, it was postponed, and this Wednesday is the official reopening of the theater, one day before Manila Day.
The program will begin at 3 a.m. and is expected to be attended by Manila City Government officials, dignitaries, and the media.
The organizers ensured that the minimum health protocols against COVID-19 would be followed.
Angeline Quinto and Bugoy Drilon sang the theme song of Manila’s 450th anniversary.
The local government also reminded that the said event is not open to the public due to the quarantine protocols.
In mid-2021, the theater’s name was changed to the NCCA Metropolitan Theater after the government cultural agency acquired the theater in 2015. The name change was met with controversy in the Philippine arts and heritage conservation community due to the lack of historical connections of the NCCA with the theater’s history.