Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Pakse Hotel AKA The Pakse Theater - Pakse, Laos

I was initially hesitant to post anything about the Pakse Theater because it's been completely converted into a hotel and lacks evidence of its former cinematic glory days, but I've since had a change of heart. These old cinemas, you see, regardless of their current use, are testament to bygone eras. They are good starting points for queries about the larger forces that shape societies, like economics, technological innovation and the social mores of the day. What's more, within these buildings opinions were shaped, emotions stoked and daily routines given alternate perspectives -- not to mention all the things that people do when the lights go down. Movie theaters reside in the memories of the spectators who visited them, which is why they themselves should be a sustained part of the collective memory. Also, I just dig some of the buildings.

The Pakse Theater was apparently the first large-scale, modern building in the city of Pakse, built by the last king of southern Laos. It wasn't originally a theater, but in 1962 was converted into one. It also contained a casino. I'm not sure how long its movie-showing days lasted, but in 2003 it was completely renovated and turned into it's current incarnation as the Pakse Hotel.


  1. When I stayed at the Pakse Hotel in the late 1990s, it was still quite obviously an old movie theater. The was a stairway that led up to the projection room but the latter was locked so I wasn't able to get a look inside.