September 12, 2009

Muse

Because of WWII, very few Art Deco buildings remain in the City of Manila and most of the other cities of Metro Manila are too young to have had any. One of those still standing is the old Capitol Theater in Escolta Street. During the Spanish and American colonial eras, Escolta was the commercial district of Manila. The Capitol was one of the country's first cinemas, and one of the few air-conditioned ones too, and was designed in the 1930s by Philippine National Artist for Architecture Juan F. Nakpil. By all accounts, the interior of the cinema was one of the grandest at the time too, with murals by other National Artists. It is now an abandoned, empty shell and only a hint of its former beauty remains in its facade which features a beautifully patterned window grill flanked by reliefs of the Muses of Film and Music.

the Art Deco Capitol Theater in Escolta, Manila

21 comments:

Vogon Poet said...

I'm partial to this period in architecture, but this building has the look of something very interesting. It's a pity to see the old cinema abandoned, any chance of another destination?

magiceye said...

nostalgia lane

Lois said...

It's so sad to see it in such bad shape!

arabesque said...

that's a nice capture and a lil art deco inspired, it's always a pity to see structures like this gone to waste, if only our generous gov't have enough funding for a renovation or some sort...
^-^

hadv said...

Is that the building with the old but original Otis elevator?

James said...

Wonderful find Hilda. I love the way that you guide us through your pictures. I'm a fan of Art Deco buildings.

Jacob said...

It appears that this street is no longer the commercial district...and this poor theater is so sad...There are many indications of its former grandeur; do you think it has any chance at restoration and another life?

tanzaniancane said...

Definitely a very interesting historical building. Art Deco buildings throughout the world give me this great feeling of being in a different time. It definitely would be interesting if someone decided to restore this!

My safari through medicine...

bfarr said...

Great shot, Hilda. Art deco is my favorite architectural style. Thanks for sharing.

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

I like art deco buildings. I think this is a great time period of architecture. Thanks for your comments on my site about the photos from my photography tour to Vermillion Cliffs and Slot Canyons. I have many more coming up and the slot canyon photos are truly amazing. It was quite a trip.

Amit Gupta said...

very nice ....i love such greyscale shots....

Cezar and Léia said...

Oooooooohhhhh, so sad that it's abandoned, hope it will recover its grandeur some day soon! It's a gem!
God bless you!
Cezar

George said...

I'm sorry to hear that this beautiful theater is now abandoned. When I lived in Ohio an art deco theater was slated for demolition, but the citizens got together and saved and restored it to its former glory. It is now a thriving community theater. Hopefully something similar can happen to this theater.

Buenos Aires Photoblog said...

Sad to hear this fading beauty is abandoned. I hope someone will save this place. Art deco is a gorgeous architectural style.

JM said...

As a BIG Deco fan, I really appreciate you have posted this photo, but on the other hand it is sad to see its bad shape...

Andreea said...

Beautiful building, like other said, it's sad to see it in bad shape.

ellievellie said...

Looks like it survived an earthquake! Very interesting!

FA said...

Hi Hilda, It's been a little while since I've visited your blog, and I'm glad to catch up. Your scenes and descriptions are very interesting.

Don and Krise said...

We actually have a Capitol Theater here in Olympia, also an older building. We're lucky though. There is a real effort to keep the old historic buildings and retrofit them to today's standards for earthquakes etc. I really hope they find a use for yours. It would be a real shame to see it mowed down for another generic strip mall. Thank you as always Hilda.

Hilda said...

Anges:
I don't remember mention of an elevator in the article I read about the theater. But with my memory, I'd take that with a grain of salt!

Vogon Poet, Jacob:
I really don't know. One of Manila's foremost architectural historians has written about the theater and the other few Art Deco buildings surviving in the city several times, but our National Historical Institute has yet to do anything about restoring them. Like everybody else here, I can only hope.

the donG said...

this structure should be restored as a place to remember the old movies.