Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hail to the Queens!

“Hail to the Queens!”
Sun.Star Davao, July 23, 2016

Back when there were no malls in Davao, watching a movie involved going to standalone theaters, a thing of the past not familiar anymore with the millennials of today.

As a child, our monthly movie break was a special treat for the family. Saturday “lakwatsas” during high school usually culminated with back-to-back movies or more commonly known as “doubled with” features. For the price of one ticket, you get to watch two movies...alright!

My friends and I must have watched dozens of Filipino films such as “Bagets”, “Hotshots”, Sharon Cuneta tearjerkers and Regal Films’ cheesy romance-drama-comedy flicks. These were such hits that the audience didn’t mind the “standing room only” situation sometimes.

And, if you missed the first part of the movie, you had the option to catch the film’s next schedule at no extra cost. In fact, if you had nothing better to do, you could even stay from the theater’s opening to closing time.

Among the popular theaters then were Garmon, Galaxy, Crest, Golden, Ideal, Lyric, among others. But, considered the classiest theater was Queens. The catchy name was given by the late businessman Ricardo Limso. It was the biggest movie theater in the city with a grand staircase and comfortable seating

However, in the ‘90s when the era of movies in malls came, including the multiple in-house cinemas of Victoria Plaza, these standalone theaters’ audience dwindled and eventually abandoned.

Recently, much to my delight (and to my kids’ amazement and amusement) the Queens’ iconic marquee gloriously lit up again as Davao DDBP Resources inaugurated its newest commercial development which was the site of the old Queens Theater.

In May 2014, roughly 20 years after the scarlet red curtains of this well-loved cinema was drawn, Davao DDBP Resources acquired the property and revived it into a commercial lease-type building.

It now houses Focusinc, a New York-based business process outsourcing company and 7/11, the famous chain of convenience stores that has been furiously expanding in Davao City of late.

Davao DDBP Resources Inc. decided to retain the building's name, "Queens", because of its nostalgic impression, a reminder of the once magical theater scene in Davao.  I am sure the officers of the company were also smitten by the fond memories much like me.  Good things never go away.

The building may be newly renovated with its modern design and facelift by  Architect Lilibeth Limpo and Engr. Noel Bersabe of Ugnayan Builders, but some things should never be changed, the Queens' mark remains.

Hail to the Queens!

We share photos of the happy occasion by Simply Gray Studio.

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