Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Nakorn Luang Rama - Bangkok, Thailand

Featured below is the Nakorn Luang Rama, formerly of Jaransanitwong soi 29/1 in Bangkok. The grand old 2nd-run theater had a seating capacity of 1,534.

It was built in 1979 and closed down in 2005, before meeting its ultimate fate in September of 2011. 

Judging by its architecture, it looks as if the Nakorn Luang was designed by the same person that did the Ngamwongwan Theater, otherwise it's an identical copy.  

Sympathy for this stalled if not dead project still runs high. Many thanks to long-time contributor to the SEA Movie Theater Project and prolific movie theater chronicler in his own, Mr. Peep, for sending these photos along.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A reminder of better days at the Washington

The below photos depict the Washington Theater in a slightly more decorative light than the previous post. At the time of their taking in the early 2000's, its movie screening days had already past and the Mambo cabaret had taken up the lease.  

The Washington Theater once stood behind the street side marquee and signage pictured above. 

In its heyday during the last quarter of the 20th century, the Washington was a premiere Sukhumvit Road movie destination, particularly for Hollywood and Bollywood films. The theater's parent company, the Asia Rama Network, circulated movies between its numerous first and second run theaters throughout metropolitan Bangkok, nearly all of which have been demolished.

These two shots come courtesy of the thoughtful Mr. Peep, a long time contributor to this blog.

Washington Theater movie ticket

Monday, December 10, 2012

Washington is destroyed!

Word has it that the former epicenter of Bangkok's Washington Square - the Washington Theater - is in the process of being demolished. 

Though shuttered as a theater for more than a decade, the Washington represents Cold War Thailand at its pinnacle. The surrounding "square" was lined with bars and brothels that catered to American soldiers and ex-pats left over from the Vietnam War and others who gravitated to it in the war's aftermath. Needless to say, the name of the square and its anchor theater hearken back to the "special relationship" between Thailand and America during the Cold War.   

Architecturally speaking, the Washington was never the most glamorous of Thai theaters. But for better or worse, an important vestige of 20th century social history is will be lost with its demise. 


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Colorful Rot

The ruins of the Tang Sia Huad Rama in Nakorn Pathom are haunting. Why the abandoned theater didn't meet the same fate as the shop houses that once flanked it is unknown. It could be a warehouse, or some other kind of storage facility, I suppose.

Whatever it's post-cinema purpose, I'm glad it's there. And equally glad that my comrade had the consideration to document it and send it this way, to be displayed in the public domain. Colorful rot from central Thailand.