Avenida at It’s Finest: Ideal Theatre
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  • 06

Walking along the dim and murky streets of Avenida, Manila, can make one paranoid. Stories of late-night robbery and thievery now plague its streets. One would have to look around cautiously, while gripping close to personal belongings. But above the busy streets of Avenida are remnants of old theatres, a reminder of a time where the bright signs, movies, and music were what attracted people to the place.

Theaters such as the State, Ever, and Avenue once stood proudly along the streets of Avenida. But the Ideal Theatre was one that stood out, it was considered the finest theatre in the country as it was elegantly designed by National Artist Pablo Antonio. The building is heavily inspired by art-deco and is the first theatre to be made from wood. Built in the early 1910’s, the theatre accommodated around 400 people. Tickets would cost about 20-40 centavos. The Ideal Theatre showed Japanese films and stage plays used in propagandas, and later showed Italian films and American films. Some of which might be familiar for movie junkies today: Fox, Universal, and Famous Players.

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