Movie Night in Bangkok
I am guilty of travelling with my little computer. Long train rides and rainy monsoon days are often spent watching a movie on a little screen and with bad sound, but feeling blissfully cosy and content. However, when every few months we arrive in a bigger city, it’s always a treat to find a cinema, see a movie on a big screen, with a proper sound system and enjoy the buzz of a movie night out. Bangkok is a city that has a lot to offer movie lovers: from arty and nostalgic venues to super-modern cinema complexes, where it’s more about the prestige than cinematography.
Those of you who are as old-fashioned as me and are looking for a cinema with soul and character, I would point in the direction of Scala Theatre and House RCA. Scala is conveniently located in Siam Square a few steps from BTS Siam Station. The theatre kept its beautiful art deco architecture as it was in the 1960s when it was built, but upgraded the audio-visual equipment. They screen Hollywood, as well as more independent and arty productions here, for a price significantly lower than at the bigger and fancier cinemas (a ticket is 100 baht). If you want a complete escape from the modern and fashionable venues, then head for the House RCA (MRT Petchaburi station, then a taxi to TOPS supermarket), which is a home to indie and arty world cinema.
I guess if you are travelling with children or people not so enthusiastic about the historic and artistic aspects of cinema, you’ll want to find something more contemporary and hip. The conventional cinemas in Bangkok are usually located at the top of shopping malls and tickets cost about 180 baht. On the 5th floor of Siam Paragon Shopping Mall (directly accessible from BTS Siam Station) is Paragon Complex, which boasts 14 screens, including an IMAX theatre (the only one in Thailand) and two exclusive screens (Bangkok Airways Blue Ribbon Screen and Enigma Theatre) where prices for tickets jump up and you watch the movie in (needless?) comfort and luxury.
If you are based close to Victory Monument, a good option is Century Movie Plaza, located within walking distance of BTS Victory Monument. It’s a movie complex that also caters for other forms of entertainment, offering food, shopping and karaoke.
At Esplanade, 12 screens are housed inside Major Cineplex, another option for movie lovers of all tastes. Take MRT to Thailand Cultural Centre or BTS to Ekamai station to reach it.
The last on the list is the SFX Cinema at the Emporium Shopping Centre (directly accessible from BTS Phrom Phong), known to be stylish, with classy decor.
For movie times, check one of the English speaking Bangkok newspapers or view them online in the Bangkok Times’ online edition. Make sure they have English soundtracks or subtitles.
And don’t be taken by surprise when at the beginning of the show the national anthem is played and you are expected to rise.