Abandoned Gaiety Theater (Interior view)
at Gaiety Theater, Ermita Church, Uap Manila
The Gaiety Theater is a stand-alone art deco cinema house located at M.H.Del Pilar Street in the Ermita, Manila district of the city of Manila. It was designed by Juan Nakpil, National Artist of the Philippines for Architecture, in 1935.The construction of these early theaters in the City of Manila provided the venue for early forms of entertainment like bodabil, a local adaptation of vaudeville, with most eventually converting to movie theaters with the growth and popularity of Philippine cinema in the metropolis.
At present several families acting as caretakers of the old cinema live inside. According to them, there were efforts to resurrect the Gaiety Theater in the 90’s but it failed. As of 2014, the theater is now closed though the building structures still remain, but in dilapidated state. The roof of the building collapsed years ago leaving the cinema house open to all weather elements contributing to its fast deterioration.