Once Quezon Boulevard’s most prestigious cinema
The city’s most luxury theatre
You wouldn’t say so, but during its glory days in the ‘40s, ‘50s and early ‘60s, Times was one of the most luxurious cinema houses in Manila. The stately art-deco façade designed by Luis Ma. Araneta was the talk of town when the cinema opened in 1939. Times was the playground of the local elite. The building survived WWII and the theatre made history when it was the first to open after the devastating days of Liberation. ‘The public was starved for entertainment and thousands of men, women and children fell in line, over a hundred meters long and in four rows’ reported a local newspaper.
Now a run-down seedy cinema
The theatre lost its audience and its classy reputation when mall-based cinema took off in the 80’s. These days the theatre is run down and locally more known for its seedy movies.
Back in time
At Times going to the movies is like going back in time: the dispenser still issues orange, stamped tickets and the original movie projectors are still in use: ‘None of the original projectors have been changed since the cinema opened’ says the Fernando who operates the massive machines. Times still has a regular screening every day and a ticket costs around PHP 150 for a double feature and PHP 100 for a single picture.