Half theater, half sauna, all joy.
Yes folks, I watched a noontime showing of Jackie Chan's latest, "The Shinjuku Indicident" in a theater that was about 33 degrees celcius (90 fahrenheit). The indutrial sized fans mounted within the walls did a great job of making a lot of noise and blowing the hot air around, but it didn't do anything for the temperature. I was really sweaty.
The other distinguishing features about the EM-Cinemax Theater is that the restrooms were only accessible from the theater auditorium, something I have never seen before. They're usually located in the lobby or foyer.
The orange and black foyer.
The sign on the rail of the second level reads Chaemchan Films. This is the film distribution company which supplies parts of Thailand's Isan region with current movies. The Chaemchan company also owns the EM-Cinemax Theater. Presumably Chaemchan Films is local to the town of Beung Gan, as a sign in front of the theater advertises that Chaemchan Films can be hired for showing movies at private events.
Concession stand and ticket booth all in one.
Showing today:The Shinjuku Incident.
Interesting to note the EM-Cinemax has 4 showings per day. That's the most for a Thai single-screen theater I've found yet. Usually there are only 2 showings (12:00 and 8:30) with the chance of an afternoon special.
Meet Nok! Nok is the concessionaire, ticket seller and ticket taker all in one. I'm reasonably sure she is the manager, as well, though she didn't say as much. She did tell me that the EM-Cinemax Theater opened in 1980 (younger than me) under the name of the Saengchay Theater.
So, if you find yourself in Nong Khai en route to Vientiane for a Laotian gettaway or a visa run, why not take a little detour to Beung Gan and check out the EM-Cinemax Theater. Tickets are only 40 baht a piece. But remember to stock up on water at the concession stand. It's HOT inside!
(On an aside, while we're making reference to Jackie Chan, there's an article in The New York Times about a recent statement that Chan made which has caused some ruckus in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China. Have a read.)