Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rare wooden movie theater demolished in southern Laos.

If it's any indication that Laos' overall economy is growing, another of the country's historic cinemas has been knocked down to make way for a new structure. This marks the 4th Lao theater to fall since the SEA Movie Theater Project got underway in 2008.

The Ta Luang Cinema stood in the heart of a residential neighborhood in central Pakse, the 2nd largest city in southern Laos. Probably the most notable aspect of the Ta Luang (Royal Port) Cinema was that it was built almost entirely from wood.

In the early days of cinema in Southeast Asia, wooden theaters were the norm, as were most buildings built before World War II. Concrete became the standard building material after the war, leading to a gradual replacement of most of the region's wooden theaters.

Burma still has many theaters that have wooden auditoriums, but their facades are made of concrete. As for theaters made completely of wood, facade and all, only three have ever encountered here; one in Bangkok, one in Chiang Kong and the Ta Luang, which exists no more.

Isn't it good, Laotian wood?

Save for the foundation, the Ta Luang was all wood.

A peak inside the Ta Luang Theater reveals a screen still. 

Pakse sits astride one of several Greater Mekong Sub-region transit corridors, designed to increase overland trade from Vietnam's coast to the ports of Burma. As a result, the city has seen a rapid rise in economic activity, from light industry to tourism.
Rumor has it that a guesthouse will replace the demolished Ta Laung Cinema

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