Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"It's alive!!!" - Sri Thep Cineplex - Nakon Phanom, Thailand

Life has not been stamped out of all the old single-screen/stand-alone theaters in this corner of the world. Here's one from the Isan region of Thailand -- Nakon Phanom -- that is still operating, albeit gasping for breath.



Screening twice daily at 12:30 and 8:00

The Sri Thep Cineplex on Sri Thep Road, has been operating since the early 70's, though I couldn't get an exact DOB. It has three screens. In the 70's and 80's, however, it had only one screen. The area that has been turned into the two smaller theaters was a nightclub.

Lounging in the lobby.

The time I spend in the Sri Thep Cineplex reminded me a lot of the old theaters in Philly, my hometown, before they closed down. Lots of unusual characters loafed around, a few of whom bought tickets.

Ticket takers

They had three different movies showing, but if less than 5 tickets are sold for any one movie they don't screen it. "It's just not worth the cost of keeping the A/C on and projector running," said one of the staff.

I was the lone ticket buyer for "20th Century Boys," a Japanese sci-fi flick that was released last year. They didn't screen it and I was forced to settle for the Thai ghost-comedy Luang Pi Gap Pi Kanun - slow torture with a few mildly amusing fart gags.

Mrs. Bambua, the ticket taker, poses for a photo

Hand painted signs.

Mobile advertisements for today's features.

If you should happen to come across a funky old theater like this, doesn't matter what's showing, buy a ticket, support a life.

3 comments:

  1. love your blog, thanks for that ... will try to contribute if i come accross something interesting !!!

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  2. When I was in NKP the Sri Thep had the single screen and the night club was very active. Very active/rowdy and that seemed to keep some folks away. Most of the flicks at the Sri Thep were of the Jarunee genre and it was a young crowd that went there. The adjoining hotel was used by traveling salesmen so they kept the night club busy and lots of samlors and roti sellers hung out out front. Very busy but not a place you'd really want or need to take a date.

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  3. The night club is gone, but there is still an aura of that type surrounding the place.....and I was there during the day.

    Thanks for that, David

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