In 2009, if you travel north from Manila via the NLEX, Whether to Baguio, Clark, Subic, and the numerous northern destinations you may have noticed the construction of the Marquee Mall. That oddly shaped structure right next to the Angeles exit if the NLEX… on the left side of the NLEX if you are northbound.

Every time I saw it, I always wondered “who would build a mall in the middle of nowhere.” And certainly it seemed like the middle of no where. The Angeles exit is some distance from Angeles City proper. Not to mention that the malls of SM Pampanga and Robinsons Star Mills were some distance away at the San Fernando Exit. This new structure seemed out of place.

Next the structure from the road) seemed odd. It wasn’t the expected “cube-shaped” Mall structure.

And then they started putting up the name, which cut at a corner of the mall (again this is the view from NLEX). “MARQUEE”… then I thought. That is a stupid name for a mall. The name Marquee has no connection to a retail mall. (and even now I think its a stupid name).

Only during this trip did I find out, its an Ayala Mall. Hmmm… that changed most of my initial opinions of the mall… aside from the stupid name.

On the way back from Anawangin Cove in Zambales, we decided to explore Marquee. We had decided to watch Sherlock Holmes… one of the recently Hollywood Holiday Blockbusters released from incarceration by the evil lords of the Metro Manila Film Festival that hijacked and held hostage all international movies while Filipinos were forced to watch poorly made and internationally embarrassing Filipino-made movies. (Enough of this rant… ibang issue na yan).

View Marquee Mall, Angeles City in a larger map

Anyway we first considered watching at SM Pampanga, then later we decided to watch at Marquee.

From the outside, Marquee looks like it belongs somewhere in Makati. Somewhere between Greenbelt and Glorietta. Many of the external design resembles mall projects of Ayala Land. The fact that it is an Ayala project… and not SM or Robinsons… you can immediately assume quality work and design.

In my mind of course was that, this used to be Kapampangan Farm Land… in the middle of nowhere.

Marquee Mall, Angeles City

Entering the mall, we looked at the “you are here”…

Marquee Mall, Angeles City

What amazed me was that, for a recently opened mall, there were a lot of stores! While there are still empty stalls… the mall was quite full of your typical Ayala stores.

Marquee Mall, Angeles City

Marquee Mall, Angeles City

Marquee Mall, Angeles City

The mall… reminiscent of Ayala Cebu or Trinoma wasn’t your basic Rectangle. For the most part it was also triangular.

The interior was nicely lit… ala Greenbelt 5… with the same feel about it.

In short… it was a very nice mall

Though I still wonder, who would go here? There were a lot of people. I am not sure how many were locals and how many were passing through from NLEX. But for sure someone did their research. When we were there – trying to put this in a politically correct manner – the people walking around were indeed more “Ayala Mall” type as opposed to the target market of an “SM Mall.”