On Saturday, 17 April 1954, the Hon. Dr. T Caruana Demajo, Minister for Industry and Commerce cut a red and white ribbon stretched across the foyer of the theatre to mark the opening of “one of the Island’s most attractive and modern cinemas”, according to a reporter from The Times of Malta. During the interval of the inaugural screening at the Metropole, the audience had the unusual experience of watching the cinema roof slide back over their heads.
The owners and brothers of the Metropole, Paul, John and Fred Baldacchino resided in Birkirkara and were known as 'Tan-Navarr', nicknamed after a family shoe shop called 'Navarro'. Before establishing the Metropole, the brothers ran a similar business in Birkirkara - the Prince Theatre on Valley Road. Their success in running the business inspired them into building and owning their own theatre, the Metropole. The Prince Theatre has since then been converted into a dance studio.
The Baldacchino family built the theatre on the site of what was once a courtyard with an open-air stage. Birkirkara Football Club had previously used this courtyard as a temporary training ground in its very early stages. Constructors had been working on the erection of the theatre for a whole year, since June 1953. They built this dream with the help of J Damato, who was responsible for the construction of the theatre, and architect J. Cumbo.
The 'talkies' would not have been possible without the dedicated projection team who spent most of their days in the projection room upstairs. Joseph Grech, and his sons Dominic, Lino and Raymond operated the two state-of-the-art Gaumont-Kalee projectors at the Metropole. Thanks to them, the Metropole never missed a show - not even in a blackout! The sons remain very dedicated to the art of the theatre and run their own local cinema in Birkirkara, White Light Picture Ltd.