Metropole, Jakarta

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Metropole Day.JPG
Metropole XXI Cineplex in 2010
Alternative names Megaria
General information
Architectural style Art Deco
Location Jakarta, Indonesia
Address Jalan Pegangsaan 21
Country Indonesia
Coordinates 6°12′0″S 106°50′37″E / 6.20000°S 106.84361°E / -6.20000; 106.84361
Current tenants Metropole XXI
Construction started 1932
Inaugurated 11 August 1949
Owner Handoyo
Design and construction
Architect Liauw Goan Sing

Metropole is a historic multipurpose building complex in Jakarta, Indonesia. One of its main tenants is the 21 Cineplex group, which operates the Metropole XXI movie theater in the complex's main building. As a historic cinema, it has screened films during the first Indonesian Film Festival (1955) and the 16th Asia Pacific Film Festival (1970). Metropole is the largest remaining Art Deco building in the city and was listed as an architectural heritage site by the governor in 1993. The 21 Cineplex also owned XXI Garden Cafe located in the building. Other tenants including billiard hall, barber shop, and several restaurants; pempek restaurant, Chinese restaurant, and Javanese grilled chicken restaurant.


Metropole is composed of three main buildings. The main building houses a movie theater owned by the 21 Cineplex group. The theater once used a large space with an audience capacity of 1,700, but it has since been renovated and divided into six separate theaters holding fewer than 50 persons each. Two additional buildings are attached to the rear of the structure, with one being used as a performance space and the other housing offices and a supermarket.[1] The three buildings are located on an 11,800-m² plot of land and housed a total of 12 tenants.[2]


Megaria building, c. 1960–1980

Metropole is the oldest movie theater and largest remaining Art Deco building in Jakarta.[3] The architect of the building was Liauw Goan Sing, but was often mistaken to be Johannes Martinus Groenewegen.[4] The building was constructed in 1932 and given the name Bioscoop Metropool in Dutch. The name was changed to Megaria during the presidency of Sukarno, who carried out an anti-Western policy.[1] In its early days, Megaria primarily screened films released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was one of the theaters that screened films during the first Indonesian Film Festival in 1955 and was a supporting theater when the city hosted the 16th Asia Pacific Film Festival in 1970.[4]

In 1984, the Kartika Chandra theater became the city's first cinema to apply the cineplex concept of having multiple theater screens. Megaria followed suit in 1986 and added a second screening space behind the already existing one. Despite this change, the theater did not enjoy the same success as Kartika Chandra and forced it to bankruptcy. The complex would soon be absorbed into the emerging 21 Cineplex theater network, managed by the company Subentra. Megaria officially became part of the network in April 1989 and was renamed Metropole 21. Its name later changed back to Megaria 21.[4]

The governor of Jakarta declared the Megaria building as an architectural heritage site in 1993. Proximity of its location to offices of the three dominant parties during the New Order—the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI), the United Development Party (PPP), and the Functional Groups (Golkar)—made Megaria a popular gathering location for students during the Reform movement in the late 1990s.[4]

The Megaria building was listed for sale on 8 March 2007 for a price of Rp 151,099,000,000 (US$16,500,000). Although the city government did not oppose the sale and allowed for a possible change in the building's function, it forbade the new owner from altering the appearance, ornaments, or main structure.[2] The sale was canceled in 2008, and the 21 Cineplex group extended its lease of the building. The company renovated the interior to match other upper-class cinemas under its management and also refurbished its exterior.[4] The 21 Cineplex has established a higher upper-class cinema brand called XXI. Today the name change back to Metropole XXI.


  1. ^ a b Didit (30 October 2009). "Bioskop Megaria Eksis Sepanjang Masa" (in Indonesian). Berita Jakarta. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Setiawan, Yudha; Maulana, Reza (14 March 2007). "Bioskop Megaria Tidak Boleh Diubah". Tempo (in Indonesian). ISSN 0126-4273. Retrieved 10 June 2010. 
  3. ^ Wiyana, Dwi (2 April 2007). "Megaria, Bukan Sekadar Kenangan". Tempo (in Indonesian). ISSN 0126-4273. Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Yunanto, Ardi (9 February 2010). "Megaria movie house in Jakarta". Karbon (Ruangrupa). Retrieved 8 June 2010. 

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