Popcorn Palaces: The Evolution of the Filipino Space of Spectatorship


  • "Evolving from viewing halls such as the Salon de Pertierra and the Cine Walgrah to converted, ill-ventilated warehouses, basements, or bodegas like the Cine Orpheum and Cine Cervantes, to theatres for the performing arts such as the Circulo Teatro Zorilla and the Manila Grand Opera House, these [structures] evolved into film palaces beautifully designed by foremost architects of the period highlighted by murals, sculpture, and grillwork created by equally renowned artists of the time. Indeed, watching movies in the Golden Age of Cinema was a total experience where one could enter a “palace” and lose oneself in make-believe worlds for the price of a movie ticket and a bag of popcorn. "

    Archivo 1984 presents “Popcorn Palaces: The Evolution of the Filipino Space of Spectatorship", an exhibit by architectural and art historian Gerard Lico featuring intricate scaled models of the facades of Manila theaters and the launching of the second edition of his book, “Pa(ng)labas: Architecture + Cinema, Projection of Filipino Space in Film", an extensive read on local cinema spaces and its significance in rousing the public consumption of film.

  • Also featured in the exhibit is the unveiling of a reconstructed never before seen lost painting of the triumvirate of Philippine Modern Art; a piece called “Rising Philippines” painted in the strokes of Edades, Ocampo, and Francisco.