The MET was built in 1924 and no expense was spared; it was a palace made out of marble, wood and stained glass. Italian and Filipino artists heavily decorated the theater with sculptures and reliefs. It was (and still is) an art deco masterpiece.
The MET stayed open through most of the Japanese occupation, staging plays, operas and variety shows. It was heavily damaged in the Battle of Manila but was quickly repaired after the war.
(Love her or hate her, she was a patron of Philippine arts.) came to the rescue and had the MET restored.
Things were fine until the Philippine Revolution of 1986 kicked the Marcos out from power. Funding was lost and the theater once again went back into ruin. The fine garden behind the theater was converted into a bus terminal. Political infighting almost doomed the Metropolitan but 2010 it seems that a compromised was reached. The theater has been renovated and there are plans to keep her running as a legitimate theater. However, I must say this: Manila is not known for being kind to its historical sites. Real estate speculators (those snakes in the grass) have no love for history. For example, in 2000, the historical Manila Jai Alai was demolished upon the orders of Mayor Lito Atienza to make way for a project that that never built. I hope that there is enough political will to keep the Metropolitan standing for hundreds of years to come.
Interior of the Metropolitan after restoration.
B&W photos compliments of John T Pilot.
Click on any image to see a larger version.
|A shadow of its former self.|
If anyone has any information on groups or individuals that are actively trying to save the Met, please feel free to email me or post a link here. Maybe it's not too late.
|Broken stained glass window|