Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Prasopsuk Rama Theater - Chiang Kham, Payao, Thailand

From the town of Pua in Nan province I traveled towards the setting sun, to Chiang Kham in Payao province, cultural center of the Tai Lue people in Thailand. For 4 hours the bus meandered through a steep mountain range separating the two provinces. Weary and weak from the gut-wrenching ride, I exited the bus in Chiang Kham and set out - zombie-like - to seek what I had come for. Minutes later that increasingly familiar form caught my eye, and like a moth to a candle in the black of night, I was drawn in.

Down an alley...

...over a bridge...

...the Rasopsuk Ram Theater rots, while the encroaching jungle slowing reclaims old territory.

The Rasopsuk Ram Theater was the last place to watch a film in the city of Chiang Kham, Payao. Aside from an electronics store salesman whose shop was at the front of the alley, there was hardly anybody around to talk to about the place. The salesman told me that it was only built between 25 and 30 years ago by Mr. Rasopsuk, whose name the theater has inherited. The Thana company purchased it from Mr. Rasopsuk some time ago, but poor box office sales led to its closure in 2007. It now sits vacant in a peculiarly situated pocket of town. The kind of place you almost expect to find a corpse lying in the weeds.

Vines creep up the front steps towards the door.

Day by day the vines get closer.

Soon this theater will be strangled in vines.

Front door and ticket booth

The above image of the outdoor restrooms is a little bit unnerving, no?

Remains of Thana's days as the operator of the Prasopsuk Rama.

The idle screen in an empty auditorium. I didn't get any statistics on the theater, but the auditorium was relatively small and couldn't have had much more than a few hundred seats.

The Rasopsuk Ram Theater: slowly being reclaimed by the jungle.


  1. the jungle is moving in for sure the photos are great i think you should buy a old theatre and start your own shows what do you say

  2. Holyshit i wan to watch movie around these area n found their cinemas are broken down