The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis was bad for Thailand's independent movie theaters. From the moment of impact, followed by months of downward spiral, scores of already-struggling family movie theaters closed their doors as crowds and access to credit grew scarce. The crisis came to a head because of unregulated speculation in the Thai currency market. When that speculation bubble burst, the financial system collapsed, leaving countless theater operators, with their costly overhead and dwindling attendance, out in the cold. (Of course, the impact went well beyond just theater operators, but for our interests here at the SEA Movie Theater Project, we'll stop at their lament.)
Featured below is the Peth Kasem Theater, a casualty of the '97 crisis located in the Bangkok satellite city of Nakorn Pathom. Like most small Thai cities, many of Nakorn Pathom's locally owned and operated movie theaters closed after the '97 meltdown. Today the structure lives on as a dingy parking garage in a narrow alley, its former luster a thing of the past.
The Peth Kasem Theater once had a seating capacity of 1,200.
What was once the concessions area.
Poster of former starlet Jarunee found in upper level.