Easily the most physically and architecturally dramatic of the old theaters I've seen, the Amporn Theater stands dignified, in the heart of downtown Udonthani, Thailand.
Its design calls to mind a crown, and likely done with much deliberation and intent. Those letters are works of art by themselves.
My knowledge of Buddhist mythology is nil, but I'm pretty sure that the image on the cornice piece is part of Buddhist, or maybe Thai lore.
The green tarp around the frontal region hints at something construction (or destruction) related. It would really be sad to see this place torn down.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get much data on the Amporn Theater. The vendors and shop keepers in the vicinity didn't seem too interested in talking to me about it. The only thing anybody could tell me with any certainty was that it closed down 10 years ago and that there is now a shoe shop in some retail space around the side. With little solid information to go on, I'll have to resort to speculation.
I speculate that the Amporn was built in the late 60's or early 70's. That's when Udonthani was awash with dollars from the US air-force base on the outskirts of town. From what I understand, the base at Udon was the largest Vietnam War era (or American War, depending on perspective) military installation in Thailand. Many a bombing missions originated at the Udonthani base, and soldiers stationed there spent their down time taking in movies and the like in town. My guess is that the Amporn was, in a beautiful twist of irony, a by-product of the war.
Again, this is all speculative information, so if anybody has any solid details or memories about the Amporn Theater, your comments are welcomed. Such a regal building must have a rich history.
(On a side note, Amporn translates to "sky," or "heavens.")