The Capitol Theater facing demolition in Escolta, Manila. Photo by Arch. Joel Vivero Rico.


How true? The original Capitol Theater will soon be gone

Is this the same regret felt for Juan Nakpil's Rizal Theater? Even the slightest touch of melancholy is inevitable when something is taken apart piece by piece.

  • November 22, 2018

  • Written by Arielle Abrigo

Earlier today, news circulated over the internet that the Capitol Theater located at the western side of Escolta Street of Manila, designed by the late National Artist for Architecture Juan Nakpil, has allegedly fallen to give way to a high-rise structure. The yet to be verified news had brought Netizens to express different levels of disappointment and anger over this still developing issue.

Built in 1935, the building was co-designed with Andrés Luna de San Pedro. The structure proudly donned the Art Deco, a predominant architectural style of the 1920s and 1930s. The Capitol Theater contained eight hundred seats, and was one of Manila’s earliest air-conditioned theaters. It housed double balconies, and the lobby was embellished with murals created by Filipino modernists Victorio Edades, Carlos Francisco, and Galo Ocampo. Last September 2017, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, and National Museum, approved the proposed demolition of the structure. Based on the original proposal, preservation of the tower and the building’s façade will be retained.

READ MORE: Escolta Maestros: 6 Filipino architects who shaped the old CBD

The Capitol Theater has encountered multiple repercussions over the years, including when it was uninhibited because it was severely damaged during the Battle of Manila in 1945. However, it faced renovation after the liberation of Manila.

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BluPrint joins the design community, among others, in the desire to preserve heritage sites. As of press time, we are still awaiting confirmation from our sources. Our platform is open to all the parties concerned. Please refer to this page as this story transpires. B ender

READ MORE: Notes on a Building: on remembrance, cultural preservation, and identity



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