This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Isetann Cinerama Recto" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (October 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this message)
This article appears to be slanted towards recent events. Please try to keep recent events in historical perspective and add more content related to non-recent events. (June 2021)

LocationManila, Philippines
AddressC.M. Recto Avenue corner Quezon Boulevard and Evangelista Street, Quiapo
Opening dateApril 1988; 36 years ago (1988-04)
DeveloperIsetann Department Store
ManagementIsetann Department Store
OwnerJoymart Consolidated Corp.
No. of stores and services100
No. of anchor tenants2
Total retail floor area20,000 m2 (220,000 sq ft)
No. of floors6
Public transit accessMetro interchange Recto
Metro interchange Doroteo Jose
Bus interchange  10  Recto
WebsiteIsetann Department Store

Isetann (also known as Isetann Cinerama Complex and Isetann Recto) is a shopping mall located at C.M. Recto Avenue corner Quezon Boulevard and Evangelista Street in Quiapo, Manila, Philippines. The mall sits in the portion of Estero de Quiapo which became Roman Super Cinerama in 1964 and burnt down in the late 1970s.

After the fire, the Roman and Rojas families sold their burnt theater to Isetann. The mall opened in April 1988; Isetann resurrected the Cinerama name after the mall was built. It also serves as the headquarters for Isetann since 1988 after vacating its previous headquarters in Carriedo which remained operational as an outlet.


As Roman Super Cinerama

The mall began its roots in 1964 as Roman Super Cinerama, built in the portion of Estero de Quiapo.[1] The theater is owned by the Roman and Rojas families,[2] specifically Jose A. Rojas, son of Victor S. Rojas. It was at that time the most luxurious theater; it was the first building in the Philippines to have an escalator and the first carpeted cinema. It was also the biggest wide screen theater in the world with a seating capacity of 1,500. In the late 1970s the theater burned down due to a faulty wiring.

As Isetann Cinerama

In 1981, the Roman and Rojas families demolished the theater and sold the lot to Isetann in 1985 to develop a shopping mall in response to rival SM City North EDSA, which was built in the same year as the first SM Supermall. However, the construction was delayed due to a series of massive protests in the area and the People Power Revolution, which led to Ferdinand Marcos's ouster from the office and installation of Corazon Aquino as president. Construction of the mall finally started in 1986 for completion by September 1987.

But on January 22, 1987, the Mendiola massacre occurred killing 13 people resulting in another major delay to the mall's opening. The opening date was moved from September 1987 to April 1988. Construction resumed a week after and topped off in mid-1987. It was finished in December 1987 and was officially opened in April 1988. In 1994, a six-year-old Sarah Geronimo did a short concert at the mall.

2019: Closure and reopening

On October 9, 2019, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno announced the closure of the mall due to the "misrepresentation of actual business area" and "questionable number of employees," according to a memorandum from the city's Bureau of Permits. The mall's shopping center was registered under Tri-Union Properties, which has been leasing multiple stalls and spaces without any business permit. Isetann has four movie theaters managed by Cineworld Cinerama Inc. but holds a permit for only one cinema.[3]

Trans-Orient Management Services Inc, the current management for the mall, has no valid and existing business permit. The mayor also noted that it was also misrepresenting its actual business area since only 1,000 square meters (11,000 sq ft) was declared and occupied. Isetann's property management is also willing to heed the government's directive to ban the sale of second-hand mobile phones, the statement read.[3][4]

Before the actual closure, Moreno had banned the sale of secondhand cellphones in the city two days prior. He also issued another closure threat to the mall if proven it is coddling those who sell stolen mobile phones. According to the mayor, those who sell and buy stolen items can be charged with the Anti-Fencing Law (Presidential Decree No. 1612).[5]

As of October 11, 2019, the mall reopened once again as it settled a 2,000,000.00 tax deficiency and secured proper business permits at the city hall. The mall owed the local government 4-million in unpaid taxes, but the amount was reduced because the company is covered by Manila's tax amnesty program. Under the policy penalties will be waived upon full payment of the principal amount of the basic tax. In compliance to the mayor's recent regulations, the sale of secondhand phones will no longer be allowed.[6]


  1. ^ Mendoza, Gemma (October 2, 2009). "Flooding in Metro: who is to blame?". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved January 31, 2014.
  2. ^ "History of Roman Super Cinerama". Retrieved January 31, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Domingo, Katrina (October 9, 2019). "Manila govt shuts down Isetann Recto". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  4. ^ Gonzales, Cathrine (October 9, 2019). "Manila gov't locks Isetann Mall in Recto". Inquirer. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  5. ^ "Manila City bans sale of secondhand cellphones". CNN Philippines. October 7, 2019. Archived from the original on October 9, 2019. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  6. ^ Domingo, Katrina (October 11, 2019). "Isetann Recto reopens after paying P2 million tax deficiency". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved October 11, 2019.