Thursday, March 26, 2009

Van Dara Theater - Thakaek, Khammuane province, Laos

Thakaek is a rusty old city on the Mekong in south central Laos. It was memorable for its waterfront nightlife which mainly consisted of packs of teenagers flying around on motorbikes, while everybody else drank beer and ate. I liked it there.

Most of the people I spoke to in Thakaek were convinced that all the theaters had been destroyed. Fortunately they were wrong, as the Van Dara Theater lives on, if only as a shell.

Wasn't able to glean much info about this place, only that the owner one day just picked up and left. It's been dormant since, apparently. The only person I found who remembered watching movies there said that it - like all the Lao theaters that survived past 75' - showed Vietnamese, Indian and Soviet movies.

Close-up of facade

They used to park their bikes under here.

Maybe the old ticket window?

If you're in Thakaek and want see the Van Dara Theater for yourself, it's right behind the Mekong Hotel, one street back from the river. It's an attractive, yet unimposing building.

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