I've never spent more than a day at a time in Lampang, but it's always a good escape from the doldrums of Chiang Mai. Shamefully, there are no longer any downtown escapes from reality in movie theater form there. All of them have been relegated to the annals of nostalgia - like the Pratuchai Theater, depicted below.
In its prime, the Pratuchai was one of Lampang's premiere entertainment spots for the city's youth. Aside from a movie theater, it also had a dance floor and roller skating rink circa the 1980's. Must have been the place to take your date if you lived there.
In the wake of showmanship - and make no mistake, theater ownership is nothing less than showmanship - the owner of the Pratuchai is now the Lampang distributor of Castrol Motor Oil. With his theater passed its cinematic days, he uses the auditorium to store cases of the flammable lubricant. Sounds like an insurance claim just waiting to be collected.
Enter if you dare!The Pratuchai has been shuttered for 10 years now, but the free standing letters spelling out PRATUCHAI linger on as a reminder of the building's brighter past.
The Pratuchai Theater was one of a handful of neighborhood movie theaters which once added life to downtown Lampang. Although the town center is now devoid of cinema options, a Thana Cineplex operates inside the Big C Super Center just off the 4 lane highway on the edge of town. As charmless as charmless can get.