Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Rock Port North Theater: Pakse, Laos

The upper part of the Rock Port North Theater's exterior is made of corrugated tin

The west side of Pakse had its own theater. Almost equally as unassuming as the Ta Luang, the Hong Hoop Ngao Ta Hin Neua, or in English, the Rock Port North Theater, was smack in the middle of a commercial shopping street in an otherwise residential neighborhood. This area is memorable for me because of its old wooden houses which look like they're gonna give out any day. The theater has been abandoned for more than 30 years, though the food vendors that have opened shop beneath the front overhang use it to store bottled beverages. There are also building supplies stored in the now seat-less auditorium. A rehab job, perhaps?

Front door

Noodle vendor catches a nap beneath an old poster case

Boarded up ticket window

I asked one of the vendors if he would let me inside, which he obliged graciously, going so far as to give me a personal guided tour. "The owner," he said, "took the money and ran to Thailand soon after the communist Pathet Lao took control of the country. His daughter has since married an American and moved to the States."

Apparently the owner, still based in Thailand, has few prospects for the building, so he rents it to the vendors.

View from balcony

NOTICE: Children under 15 not permitted.

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