The City of Manila Orders Isetann Mall Closure

Turns out the mall didn't have the necessary permits.

( Hold on to your childhood memories: It looks like major changes are about to happen to Isetann Cinerama Complex in Manila. The quintessential building along Recto Avenue has just been ordered to close by the local government of Manila following an investigation of their permits. As it turns out, Isetann Cinerama Complex (a.k.a. Isetann Recto) has been operating without the necessary business permits.


An official closure order was issued by the Office of the Mayor on October 9. According to the document, Isetann Recto had two main faults: first, it didn't have permits to operate as a lessor for the shops in the mall, and second, the mall misdeclared the actual business area and the number of permitted employees. Their business permit only covers an area of  1,000 square meters and a total of 10 employees—which we suppose is a very, very rough estimate. 

“We have no recourse, wala kaming choice. Kailangan naming ipatupad ang batas; mapamahirap middle class o mayaman dito sa lungsod ng Maynila,” said Moreno, in a report by CNN Philippines. Tenants and employees will have to wait until management fixes the papers before business can resume.

Isetann Recto mall recently came into focus after the City of Manila banned the sale of secondhand phones in its entire jurisdiction. A student had reported seeing their stolen phone being resold at the mall. The quintessential Manila establishment was once a luxurious hub. It has been part of the city since 1964, and it had the first carpeted cinema and the first ever escalators in the country.

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Main image from Google Maps/Streetview.

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