Standalone Theaters in Downtown Cebu
Before the coming of the malls, the downtown area was the place to go to if you wanted to watch a movie. The latest movies at that time were shown in one of the many standalone theaters in the area. These theaters include Ultravistarama, Oriente, and Vision Theater. While some of these theaters are still standing, they have experienced a slowdown with the opening of the big malls in the Queen City of the South.
Back in the 80s, a local television show used to outdo Manila-based shows in Cebu. The show was about a goat that excreted coins rather than waste. It was so popular that it posted one of the highest television ratings in Cebu at that time. The main stars, Teban and Goliat, became household names in the Queen City of the South and were in-demand artists for out of town shows in the island. It started a trend for locally-produced television shows for a number of years.
When Ayala Center Cebu first opened its doors in Cebu, the mall had a water fountain inside. During that time, people would throw coins into the pool around the fountain and make wishes. But, when the mall was renovated, the water fountain was replaced with a kid’s playground.
Kids of the 80s will surely remember the time the computer instant prizes of White Gold in the Reclamation Area. Shoppers would get the chance play a simple game on a computer to get the chance to win prizes. Aside from winning a prize, kids enjoyed the fact that they were able to use a computer, which may have been the first time for many to do so.
Uptown Cebu was once one of the places to see and be seen. And the best place to stay was at the benches outside the branch of Orange Brutus along Mango Avenue (now known as General Maxilom Avenue). Weekends will find the place filled with kids hanging out while waiting for some of their other friends to arrive. After meeting up with friends, they would either go to Rustan’s or watch a movie at Belvic or Century 21.
In the late 90s, a professional basketball league was formed to compete with the Philippine Basketball Association. The Metropolitan Basketball Association was composed of teams representing a city, province or island in the country. Cebu had its own basketball team, the Cebu Gems. The home games were played in the Cebu Coliseum. There were games that became unruly and some fans would throw coins and other debris into the court. Even with this, the league gave Cebuanos something to root for each time the Cebu Gems would host another team in their home court.
Long before Ding Qua Qua offered their eat all you can promotion in their JY Square location, the restaurant was located in downtown Cebu. Offering some of the best tasting dimsum in the city, the restaurant later transferred to the Mango Avenue area and soon became one of the places where Cebuanos would have lunch after hearing mass on Sundays.
Artist’s Dais was a major player in the underground music industry of Cebu. The place was where up and coming music acts got the chance to show their wares to music lovers in Cebu. Located at the Manros Plaza, the place was a music gallery where relatively unknown bands at that time used to play.
Cebu Plaza Hotel
Cebu Plaza Hotel (now Marco Polo Hotel) was once the tallest structure in Nivel Hills. During this time, there was no other structure taller than the Cebu Plaza Hotel. It was also one of the places where people would bring visitors to give them a good view of the city. In addition, it was where Bai Disco and the original Lantaw Hotel were located.
The original Lantaw Restaurant was located at the Cebu Plaza Hotel (now Marco Polo Hotel) compound. The restaurant was one of the favorite places for family and friends to gather for special occasions.
What are the other things you can recall about old Cebu? Tell us about them on the comments section below.