A woman grilling hot dogs beside the Pu Jao claimed that in the 1980's and 90's, it was the premier theater of Five Star Productions - one of Thailand's most prolific movie studios. Films starring the studio's prized male/female duo, Santisuk Promsiri and Jintara Sukapat, held their premiers at the Pu Jao. Regular capacity crowds spilled over into the surrounding businesses.
Then, in much the same manner as nearly all Thailand's stand-alone theaters, it died sometime in the early aughts.
In the photo, Saman Watcharasirioj, a technician who works for the Apex chain, along with an assistant, set up the audio system for an outdoor movie screening in front of the Pu Jao. This must have been some sort of promotional event prior to the theater's opening. The Pu Jao was apparently owned by Apex.
The banner above the marquee says, "A first-class theater, Pu Jao at Sam Rong. Grand Opening March 26th, 1985."
The Pu Jao Theater is now a first-class relic.
(Vintage photo courtesy of Wax Wara, son of Saman Watcharasiriroj)