Sine Pop: A post-war home turned "Boutique Theatre" in Cubao

This pandemic has indeed made dedicated cinephiles miss the whole experience of watching a movie in a cinema. Sine Pop, a post-war home turned “Boutique Theatre” in Cubao, will let you experience the thrill and excitement of watching a beautiful film in an actual cinema whose architecture and interiors will inspire you.

Sine Pop

Located in a quiet spot in Cubao, the cinema that stands on a 750sqm lot was initially designed and built by Sotero Pasion Eugenio, a Civil Engineer from Laoag City, and his wife, Lourdes, a pharmacist from Ilocos Norte. The house was completed in 1948. The family of the property owner lived there for almost 70 years. Still, they hardly changed anything with the desire to preserve the beautiful memories of living there. 

In 2017, the owner of Sine Pop collaborated with Architect Justin Guiab, who graduated from The University of the Philippines in Diliman in 2015 and placed third in the 2017 architecture board exams. They initially planned on tearing down the old house and building a new structure. However, budget constraints resulted in the owner and the architect’s decision to preserve the main house and incorporate modernity on certain areas of the property. 

They renovated the lower floor of the main house into a cafe and lounge area but kept the original frames of all the wood windows, which are now panoramic windows that frame the bamboo forest outside. The old structure at the back of the house is now the cinema. The lush bamboo forest used to be a row of apartments. On the second floor, you are welcomed by a massive Mark Andy Garcia painting. It has two rooms that were initially planned as retail spaces. There is a dimly lit hallway that will lead you to the cinema. This mini-cinema features a 48-seater theater, a seven-meter screen, DCP projector, and a 7.1 surround sound system.

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In an article published recently, the architect said, “We were not going for a particular look. Rather, it was an attempt to build something with a sense of humility and honesty. We did not desire to create a striking facade. Instead, we hid the cinema behind the old house and a bamboo forest. We did not want it to stand out. We wanted it to disappear. Honesty led to our use of concrete, stone, and unfinished materials. Whatever material we used had to serve a purpose. We wanted to use the material as it is and not have to hide it behind a layer of paint or tiles. In the end, this saved us additional costs, no more plastering or varnishing to hide the imperfections. We embraced the imperfections.”

Sine Pop
Sine Pop
Sine Pop

Sine Pop can also be used for exhibits, press conferences, photoshoots and can be rented for private screenings. There was a 3-day pop-up exhibit last week of works by Cebu based artist, Lean Reboja

Currently, there is a screening of NORTE, HANGGANAN NG KASAYSAYAN, a 2013 film directed by Lav Diaz and produced by Moira Lang every Sunday. This movie was screened at various film festivals overseas in 2013- Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, and San Diego Asian Film Festival.

Sine Pop
Sine Pop
Sine Pop
Sine Pop
Sine Pop

Sine Pop is located at 14 St. Mary St., Quezon City. For inquires and seat reservations, you may contact them through Facebook: SinePopUp and on Instagram: @Sine.Pop

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Notes about the Contributor

Daniel Lampa

Art enthusiast and into Fashion, French Culture, Mid-century modern design and spends a lot of his time curating his home in Manila and LA. He lives with his 3 dogs, Coco, Yohji and Junya.