- Title: Bangkok theatre bows out amid coronavirus uncertainties
- Date: 4th July 2020
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Thai) THEATRE FAN, PAIROT SOOKSEE, 74, SAYING: "Watching movies in this theatre is luxurious and more comfortable. The others in shopping malls are much smaller. But theatres like this are all gone now."
- Embargoed: 18th July 2020 12:04
- Keywords: La Scala theatre close coronavirus
- Location: BANGKOK, THAILAND
- City: BANGKOK, THAILAND
- Country: Thailand
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Film
- Reuters ID: LVA003CLE722V
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Movie and theatre fans from around Thailand are donning masks and taking care to social distance as they to come to Bangkok this weekend to bid a final farewell to the La Scala theater.
The iconic theatre built in the 1970s 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 the land lease. The coronavirus pandemic and all the social restrictions it has brought has dealt a final blow to the theatre located in the heart of Bangkok.
"Scala was built by my father. He was determined to make it as beautiful as possible. This is what he truly wanted and it is still very beautiful today. I have regrets and am so sad I have no words. It is heartbreaking," says Nanta Tansasha, whose family runs the theatre. "When we look toward the future, I don't know if it (business) will pick up. Anyhow the lease contract is ending at this year-end. So I decided to stop the business now."
Nanta's father, Pisit Tansacha was a pioneer in Bangkok theatres. He opened three including Scala, which is in the Siam Square shopping area. It had a glamourous opening on New Years eve in 1970. "The Undefeated" starring John Wayne and Rock Hudson was the first movie screened in the cinema. In its heyday, the theatre rolled out the red carpet to welcome celebrities like Jean Claud Van Damme for the Bangkok Film Festival in 2003.
The finale films this weekend include Italian moves and Thai documentaries and 3,000 tickets have been sold to fans who want to see "Scala", as it is known by everyone for a last time.
Scala is now the last stand-alone movie cinema left in the Thai capital and is already dwarfed by tall buildings.
Nanta expects a highrise will replace her theatre.
(Production: Prapan Chankaew, Masako Iijima)
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