Monday, December 11, 2006


J. Bros Theater

Newer at the time than Supreme, J. Bros theater was the cinema we in the family now preferred to go to. I was particularly fascinated by the vending machine in the 2nd Floor Lobby. Back in the late 70's, I'd never seen one before and I was facinated to see a cop drop from inside, ice would follow, then my drink. I thought it was fantastic!

As previously mentioned, 2 movies were shown one after the other. The following week, a new duo of movies will be shown. But if once in a rare while that a movie made really good money, they'd extend that for another week. I would often times find out which movies will be shown next because tricycles would often carry announcements at the back.

The last time I watched at J. Bros was sometime in the early 90's. "Ghost" was doubled with "Rocky V". Since I really liked both movies, I thought that was a terrific combination.

J. Bros has been closed as well, I figure, almost at the same time as Supreme did. Now, it's a NOVO, a grocery/department store selling cheap imported goods.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006


Supreme Theater

Supreme Theater, located along Bonifacio, corner Burgos, is no longer so Supreme. In fact, it is now closed and have been for at least a couple of years. Although it still retains the original structure, it's now been converted into an "ukay ukay" or a 2nd hand clothing store.

I still remember going to the movies with my family in the 70's. I was just a young boy, and the ocassion to watch movies at the theater was always a time of great excitement. Supreme was the one of the two theaters in San Pablo we patronized (the other being J. Bros but more of that in a later post).I can even remember watching "Towering Inferno" at Supreme, and I remember it to have been a one of a kind experience because it's one of those very rare times when they only showed ONE movie that week. At San Pablo theaters, they usually show 2 movies one after the other. Sometimes their choices were weird (James Bond doubled with a crazy neo-Western Italian movie dubbed in English, or Star Wars doubled with a horror movie).

One of the unique things about watching movies in San Pablo is that they have a paging system wherein you can page a relative, friend, wife, husband, etc. who you believe to be watching the movie. Their names will be flashed at the bottom of the screen like a subtitle asking them to go home, or cook or whatever. It was so much a part of the viewing experience, that I thought nothing of it. Now I think it's hilarious.

The owners or managers of these theaters, in the face of dwindling patronage, saw it probably fit to start showing bold movies to maintain a profit. That was probably a mistake, because in the light of the growing home video market, people, specially MEN, would rather watch bold movies at the privacy of their own home for reasons only MEN would know and understand. This then drove away the families even more and closure becomes inevitable.

I often entertained the fantasy that if I became a billionnaire, I would buy Supreme, and restore it to its former glory. I would upgrade the video and sound quality to the latest standards, show only blockbuster movies, and be one of the theaters in the country to show them first, make it guaranteed seating and close the doors as soon as the movie opens, and last but not least important, I will install a cellphone signal jamming system (because it's hopeless to discipline people with cellphones inside the theater).

Well, if I only had billions of pesos.

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