Det Udom Mini could be found in nearly every district of Thailand. Even prior to the advent of rural electrification, small town entrepreneurs were prone to build movie theaters and project the coveted form of entertainment via power provided by a diesel generator. Areas deemed too poor or remote to support a permanent theater were serviced by the ubiquitous traveling cinema companies, which would set up open-air movie screenings and charge customers a small fee to get in. From what I've been told, most districts in Ubon Ratchathani watched their movies the open-air way. But the people of Det Udom have long been luxuriating in a theater of their own.
The Det Udom Mini Theater is actually fairly new, dating only the late 80's/early 90's - the last generation of stand-alone movie theaters to be built in Thailand. According to staff and locals, it replaced an old wooden theater that occupied its ground for years prior.
Designed with the future in mind, the Det Udom Mini has two auditoriums and two screens, allowing for double the viewing fare at the same time. But only theater "A" is used regularly.
This truck rolls around town and the surrounding villages announcing the daily film fare. Now Showing: "Who are You?"
I was able to catch a noon showing of "Who are You...," which would have been a recommendable movie had it not been for the screwy ending. Otherwise it was a strong attempt by the Thai film industry at psychological horror, a sub-genre which gets scant attention among local producers.
As for the attending crowd, of the roughly 20 attendees there were 3 adults - a reflection of movie-going demographics nationwide. When questioned about how business has been, the Det Udom Mini's caretaker said that the theater was covering its costs. "We're not exactly raking it in," he jibed, "but considering it's now the dry season, when lots of locals leave to take up seasonal work in the big cities, we're not doing bad. Business will get better come the rainy season when everybody returns home."
There are only a handful of country theaters still operating in Thailand. Most of them are in Isan.