Friday, June 29, 2012

Only a week left to photograph Cambodia's movie theaters...

Change is tearing through Southeast Asia faster than ever. Old ways of doing things are being transformed by new technologies, growing economies and and ever evolving social mores. Even relatively recent comers to everyday life, like movie theaters, are starting to be replaced by their newer, more advanced versions. 

Nakon Phanom is one of the few places left in Thailand where one can still screen a movie in an old-fashioned, stand-alone movie theater. Located in the heart of the city, on a pedestrian friendly commercial street stands the last operating stand-alone theater in the entire province. This past November I revisited the Sri Thep Cinema in Nakon Phanom to get a few more shots of it.

Most of the Sri Thep's original late-1960's early-1970's Thai decor remains intact... 

 

The free-standing letters once perched on the roof are missing...


...but from its streamlined wooden poster-cases resting upon a glazed brick wall...


...to the unusual drop ceiling in front of the auditorium entrance...


...and the stylish wooden poster cases in the stairwell, almost all its original detail still remains.

Theaters like this are few and far between. Most of those standing today will not be in existence 5 or 10 years from now, marking the end of a distinct era in Southeast Asia's leisure culture. Ask any Thai, Burmese or Laotian who's old enough to have visited these old movie theaters in their prime and you'll be in for an ear full. In many cases, movie theaters were the most important social space in the towns and cities they stood in. 

With a little help from you, we can ensure that no matter what their fate, these old movie theaters will not be forgotten. Below is a Kickstarter campaign I've started to help raise funds for me to record and document all the remaining stand-alone movie theaters of Cambodia. Please take a moment to watch my video. If you feel moved, please share it on your own social media sites. The more people who see it, the more likely that somebody will take an interest in the work I've been dedicated to for the past 4 years and contribute to the cause. 

Just click the play symbol on the picture below, sit back, relax and enjoy the show.

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