The closure of Bangkok’s last standalone movie theatre was announced via Facebook today by its operator, Apex. It comes just over 50 years since the art-deco masterpiece first opened its doors – on December 31, 1969 with the Thai premiere of “The Undefeated”, starring John Wayne and Rock Hudson.
Cinema-lovers can say goodbye at the final weekend’s screenings on July 3-5, under the theme "Final Touch of Memory”.
The Scala is the last of four grand Apex cinemas that once stood in Siam Square. Sala Chalerm Thai Cinema was demolished in 1989, Siam Cinema which was burned down during political rallies in 2010, and the Lido Cinema closed when its lease expired on May 31, 2018. The Scala then began to adapt, adding as many as five showings a day to meet demand from moviegoers for a wide variety of film genres. The cinema was ordered to close on March 18 as part of lockdown measures, but has since reopened. However, the ongoing impact of Covid-19 has hastened the decision by its operator to close for good once the current lease expires in a few days time. Chulalongkorn University, which owns the land on which the Scala is built, has reportedly slated the building for demolition and replacement with a shopping mall.
“Scala ranks among the finest operating movie theatres in the world,” according to Phil Jablon at The Southeast Asia Movie Project (Seatheater.blogspot.com). Former Nation film critic Wise Kwai called it the crown jewel of Siam Square.
Cinemagoers get one last chance to experience that historic grandeur next week.
Published : June 25, 2020
By : The Nation