The corner of Magsaysay Street and Rizal Street is a common landmark that you have come to (before it was a town now) the city of Sorsogon. In reality, the zero kilometer of Sorsogon City is located just in front of the former post office building just a hundred meters away or so.
For those millenials, born around the late 90s and the early decade of 2000, the corner is known for Chowking and Centro Mall (in the picture). However, for those who were born before that, the Centro Mall was known as Jomil Cinema 1 (Jomil Cinema 2 came in later, around late ’80s).
This is where the author first saw his first couple of Lito Lapid movies – Ang Pagbabalik ni Leon Guerrero and San Basilio (Julio Valiente). The latter is unforgettable movie. There is a scene wherein Julio Valiente put the knife infront of the barrel of his revolver, with the blade facing the hole – when he fired, he killed two cowboys on a single bullet. PG or GP didn’t exist then, though the author is definite that X and R ratings existed by then. Finally, the said theater showed 2 movies, in local parlance it’s called, kadobol.
The author could still remember the gap between the date the movies were first shown in Manila and the time they were shown in Sorsogon – approx. 2 months or maybe longer. Each movie would last less than it’s original length since 2 movies were shown on a single cycle. The ticket was around 6 pesos, this was lower area (Balcony was the more expensive one). Later on, before the theater closed down it was a bit lower than 20 pesos.
Why did it close down and there’s no movie house anymore in Sorsogon? The author doesn’t really know though only JB Cinema in Barangay Talisay was the last one to closed down around the late 90s. Though there was an article during that time saying that the main enemy of the theaters – boot legged CDs (DVD were not available then).
What about before Jomil Cinema, what was the original establishment? It was the International Hotel.