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Issan theater survives nearly 60 years

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NOTE -- For old movie theater buffs and Issan travelers. Hope you enjoy.



(photo credit SE Asia Movie Theater Project)


From The Issan Record


A wave of chain movie theaters hosted in shopping malls has swept away most of the independent movie parlors once found in almost every city of Thailand's northeast. But in the region’s smaller towns, stand-alone cinemas like the Det Udom Theater in Ubon Ratchathani Province continue to draw a loyal audience.


Located in the town of Det Udom, about 30 kilometers southeast of Ubon Ratchathani City, the family-run theater has been operating for almost 60 years. Its original wooden theater hall was built in 1959, even before Thailand’s movie theater construction boom took off in the mid-1960s.


The Isaan Record talked to Kittiphong Thiamsuvan, the owner of the Det Udom Theater and a former member of parliament, about the theater’s history and how it survived the competition from large cinema chains.


"The movie theater opened its doors in 1959. It was originally named Det Udom Movie Theater. In 1987, I took over the management from my father and changed the name to Det Udom Mini Theater. As we adopted digital movie screening in 2013, we took on a new name again: the Det Udom Theater.


"The original movie theater was a wooden structure with corrugated steel walls. The screening halls hosted 800 seats on two floors. There was also a stage for music performances. Back then in 1959, tickets sold for one baht.


"In 1997, we demolished the old theater and build a new concrete one with two screening halls. Each hall has 170 seats and tickets used to sell for 30 to 40 baht.

When we moved to digital screenings in 2013, the ticket prices went up to 50 to 80 baht.

Back when admission was still one baht, we had about 100 to 500 viewers per screening. Around 1987, the average numbers were even higher but today we don’t get more than 100 people for each screening."


Continues with photos



From SE Asia Movie Theater Project blogspot with photos


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