Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Chalerm Sin Theater, chopped

Never mind that it wound down its cinematic life as a double-feature theater that was, by all accounts, a deviants' paradise, demolition of the Chalerm Sin Theater marks yet another loss to Bangkok's dwindling stock of stand-alone movie theaters. While it's no surprise that this one in particular is currently getting smashed out (it wasn't much of a looker to begin with), it is a shame to see nearly the entire inventory of this structural type and the culture it embodied getting collectively tossed into the trash dump of existence.

For the past few months, a wrecking crew has been painstakingly dismantling the 60 year old cinema building. A condo is slated to rise in its place.

The Chalerm Sin Theater from 2009. Its days as a movie theater were long over, but the building was in decent shape, having just been converted into a badminton hall. 

Gap toothed signage atop the Chalerm Sin Theater, with its missing letter 

The three images below were taken this morning, October 19th, 2016.

They taketh away.

Looking from where the screen would be, with the balcony in the distance.

Demolition man surveys his work. Decades ago, this same guy was a regular at The Chalerm Sin for movies.

Again, it's neither surprising nor much of a loss to Bangkok that The Chalerm Sin is being wrecked. While it certainly holds dear memories for the many who experienced it over the years, it was not a particularly important structure - cinema or otherwise - in the grand scheme of things. Its loss should, however, serve as a reminder that there are only a few of this type of building left in the city, most of which have great architectural and/or cultural worth. 

It's time for Bangkokians to start thinking very deeply about what kind of city they want Bangkok to be.   

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