Saturday, December 5, 2009

Southeast to Isan

Tomorrow begins another expedition into the vanishing world of Thailand's stand-alone movie theaters. I've plotted a course down the State Railway of Thailand's Bangkok-Chiang Mai line, following leads given me my last time in the field. History recalls a time when the train line represented high modernity and bountiful economy. Where it stopped, towns grew, and those towns grew rich thanks to the commerce that it brought. What better luxury to invest in when the money train is running than movie theaters, right?

Since the 1960's, when road construction really accelerated in Thailand, the economic importance of the train has been dwindling. Now it's largely used for commuter purposes. Many of the small towns, once booming, which flank the tracks, have gone bust. If I find an operating theater in any of them I'll do a back-flip.

From there the plan is to head east, into Isan - Thailand's vast plateau region; home to it's largest concentration of humanity outside of Bangkok. If luck is on my side I'll be able to watch Yam Yasothon 2 in a stand-alone theater in Yasothon Province. It's a long shot, but hope prevails.


  1. Really happy to have found your site!
    I love learning about old Thai theaters.
    Keep up the good work!

  2. Thanks very much, Jack. I'll see what I can do.

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