Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Pichit Pathana Theater - Pichit, Thailand

The train pulled into Pichit station a little before 11, with the late morning sun already high in the sky. Approximately half an hour after being in the crowded little city on the Nan River, I'd located its lone dormant giant: the Pichit Pathana Theater.

Very little background data on this place was gleaned, aside from a vague date of birth sometime in the late 60's or early 70's. A woman working in a nearby restaurant recalled that it closed up four years ago, shortly after the Thana Company opened a four-screen cineplex in the local shopping mall.

At some point the Pichit Pathana was renamed the S.P.T. Cineplex, but all the locals I talked to referred to it as the former.

Showing today

"Boom-Boom," the night club, accessible only from the rear of the building, has taken over a portion of the Pichit Pathana's auditorium. Judging by the pair of boxer shorts hanging out to dry and the two dozen or so neatly arranged empty beer bottles, I'd say that a down and out member of the Pichit community has taken over the lobby. Under normal circumstances, I would think that it's pretty cool to be able to call an old movie theater home, but not when it's on the verge of collapse. The ceiling of the lobby is falling down!

Crumbling lobby

Some soothing pastels around the ticket window

Boxers, beer and candy

As for the town of Pichit itself, it was very crowded. Very crowded and very poor! There's some nice old buildings along the river which seem like they were once involved in a little riparian commerce, but they're looking pretty shabby these days. In the middle of the city stands a branch of one of the big hypermarket chains, the same building that houses the Thana theaters. It was grimly enlightening to see that this place was completely mobbed, sucking in all the towns consumers like a black hole. The smaller shop-houses were noticeably less active.

If a lifeless Pichit Pathana Theater, a high vacancy rate among small shops and a general aura of decrepitude indicate anything, I'd say it's that Pichit is in a depressed state.

No comments:

Post a Comment