Among the fire casualties of 1981 was an old movie theater that occupied the land where the Myo Gon Yaung now stands. Details of this erstwhile cinema hall were hard to come by, but that's beside the point. What's important to note is that the Myo Gon Yaung, in its current manifestation, was built by the State's Ministry of Construction as a replacement for the one lost in the blaze of '81.
The Myo Gon Yaung was the prototype for two later additions to Mandalay's government-built trio of movie theaters. Each of them share nearly identical designs, differing only in the most minute details. All three are the brain children of one architect.
Two destructive, city-wide blazes within a few years of each other speak volumes to the severity of neglect suffered by Myanmar's urban centers. With that in mind, I can only muster a tepid 'hats off' to the powers that be who commissioned the replacement Myo Gon Yaung. Not to detract from this wonder of socialist-inspired cinema architecture. It is, after all, a palace of joy to the entertainment-starved denizens of this, my favorite dust-strewn city in the galaxy.