Friday, February 17, 2012

The Lak Meuang Theater - Kalasin, Thailand

On a quiet street in the heart of Kalasin stands one of the best preserved examples of mid-20th century Thai theater architecture around. In the 1950's and 60's, little bells like the Lak Meuang Theater found economy throughout Thailand; colorful neighborhood-oriented leisure venues which blend snappily in to the surrounding built environment. Today only a small handful survive.

The flowery metal grill over the facade was made for fastening hand painted movie billboards to. Most theater architects of the day were content with a plain metal frame, but the designer of the Lak Meuang transcended functionality, making the grill the most important aesthetic feature of the building's facade.

The majority of theaters with this type of feature exist only in old photographs.

The name of this classic theater speaks volumes to the important role they once played: Lak Meuang means City Pillar.

In a more subdued light

Classic folding wooden doors.


Locals claimed the Lak Meuang closed down about 10 years ago. Nobody could determine a precise year that it opened, but the going estimation was between 40 and 50 years ago.

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