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Final curtain call for Bangkok’s Scala theatre this Sunday

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Final curtain call for Bangkok’s Scala theatre this Sunday

 

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photo from Apex Scala facebook
 

After 50 years, the final curtain will come down this Sunday on the Grande Dame of Thailand’s movie theatres, The Scala.

 

Before the advent of the multiplex, The Scala, located next to Siam Square shopping centre, and its sister theatres in the same area, The Siam and The Lido, which closed two years ago, were the venues where Bangkok’s residents could get a taste of Hollywood glamour, in an impressive theatre, replete with ceiling chandeliers, curved wide staircase and glitzy decor.

 

The changing expectations of Bangkok’s cinema goers, and stiff competition from new, high-tech multiplexes, surrounded by shops and restaurants, saw the popularity of the three theatres wane.

 

Full story: https://www.thaipbsworld.com/final-curtain-call-for-bangkoks-scala-theatre-this-sunday/

 

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-- © Copyright Thai PBS 2020-07-04
 
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Indeed those 3 theaters were the normal destination for movies in the 70's onward.  Good shopping and food also available from low priced to Neil's Tavern.   Siam Square was the first "in" place.

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It was originally started by Pisit and Nongnooch Tansacha as part of their extended cinema business that at its height extended to several countries in Asia.  Sadly, she passed away about 3 years ago. Probably her best known legacy is the Nongnooch Tropical Gardens which is run by her son, Kampon Tansacha. It has the largest and most comprehensive collection of Bromeliads  in the world.

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Fans gather for final showings at Thailand's much-loved La Scala theatre

By Prapan Chankaew

 

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Movie fans gather to bid farewell to the last stand-alone movie theatre "La Scala" amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Bangkok, Thailand July 4, 2020. REUTERS/Chalinee Thirasupa

 

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Donning masks and observing social-distancing practices, movie and theatre fans on Saturday bid a final farewell to Thailand's La Scala theatre in Bangkok, which is set to close its doors in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The 50-year-old theatre, built in the late modernism architectural style with an Art-Deco interior, has been struggling for the last decade to stay profitable amid competition from new media and increases in its land lease costs.

 

The pandemic and restrictions on movement to curb its spread dealt the final blow to the theatre in the heart of the capital. The Thai economy as a whole is forecast to shrink this year more than any other in Southeast Asia.

 

"I'm so sad I have no words. It is heartbreaking," said Nanta Tansasha, whose family runs the theatre, which was built by her father.

 

"When we look toward the future, I don't know if it (business) will pick up... so I decided to stop the business now," she said.

 

The theatre had a glamorous opening on New Year's Eve in 1970, and the first movie it showed was "The Undefeated" starring John Wayne and Rock Hudson.

 

In its heyday, it rolled out the red carpet for celebrities including the likes of Jean Claud Van Damme for the Bangkok Film Festival in 2003.

 

The final showings this weekend include Italian movies and Thai documentaries, with 3,000 tickets sold to fans who want to pay one last visit.

 

La Scala, the last theatre building of its kind in Bangkok, where most cinemas and theatres are housed in larger malls, is already dwarfed by the tall buildings around it. Nanta expects a high-rise to replace her theatre.

 

(This story makes correction in paragraph 7 to say Bangkok film festival was in 2003, not 2013)

(Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-07-05
 

 

 

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Funny how some things stick, I remember clearly seeing "Beetlejuice" there in the late 80's with my first Thai date

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