Friday, November 13, 2009

The London Theater - Bangkok, Thailand

Sign and marquee for the London Theater hang over Sukhumvit Road, the automotive Thames of Bangkok.

A clinging vestige of the London Theater remains, bolted to the facade of a three-story shop house on Sukhumvit Road just south of Soi 71. The theater itself, once accessible by walking through a narrow passageway beneath the marquee, is no more. A new structure has been built in its place.

Food vendors occupy the space next to the entrance of the old passageway, with a hand painted sign deceitfully claiming "Entrance to the London Theater" nailed overhead.

Roast Duck

"Entrance to the London Theater"

The interior of the passageway is lined with tables, where customers dine on the delicacies prepared by the two vendors out front. One can imagine the walls of this passage once adorned with movie paraphernalia.

If I understood correctly, the London Theater was once part of a movie theater collection owned by a man named Chansak. Apparently this man was a prominent figure in the Bangkok movie theater world of the 1970's and 80's. Some of his other holdings that I'm aware of included the Hawaii, New York, Asia Rama and Washington theaters. Noting his proclivity for naming theaters after American cities and states (barring, of course, the London Theater and the Asia Rama), I wonder if he was the same person behind such other movie houses as the Las Vegas, New Orleans, Chicago, California and Texas theaters. A bit of trivial knowledge I look forward to finding the answer to. If anybody has any further information regarding this mystery, please feel free to write in.

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