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Bangkok’s legendary Scala cinema is closing

Jack Burton

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Bangkok’s legendary Scala cinema is closing | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Times of India

Bangkok’s venerable Scala cinema announced yesterday that it will stop its movie showing operations and let other businesses rent the venue for their activities or special screenings until the end of 2020, when its land contract expires. Scala, located in Pathumwan district, is the last standalone movie theatre in Bangkok.

The 1,000 seat cinema was built in 1969 and named after Milan’s Teatro alla Scala. It’s owned by Apex Group, which used to operate 3 other standalone cinemas in Bangkok: Sala Chalermthai Theatre, which was demolished in 1989; Siam Theatre, which shut down in 2010 after being damaged in a fire, and Lido Multiplex, which closed down in 2018 when its contract expired.

Scala had earlier announced that it would close temporarily, from March 18 until May 31, in line with the Emergency Decree to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Among the businesses that were ordered shut were movie theatres, restaurants, massage parlours, fitness centres and others. The restriction was lifted for several businesses, including movie theatres, on June 1, but sadly the Scala is bringing down the curtain on half a century Bangkok’s cinema history.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Tourism

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

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Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | The Thaiger

There was the original Covid-19 outbreak and lockdowns back in April and May in 2020, then again just before Christmas and New Year when the new clusters emerged in Samut Sakhon and the eastern coastal provinces, Patong’s nightlife was quiet enough, almost non-existent.

Now when the restrictions are lifted, Nimz will take you through Phuket’s famous nightlife spot Bangla Road, Patong Beach and Phuket Town. It’s quiet, but there are still clubs open and operating and ready to welcome you.

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Bangkok

DUMBO the rooftop bar in Bangkok, a hidden gem | VIDEO

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DUMBO the rooftop bar in Bangkok, a hidden gem | VIDEO | The Thaiger

Located in the heart of Bangkok City, Thailand. Just a few metres away from the Saphan Khwai BTS station, ‘DUMBO BKK’ offers a fine mixture of jazz, great food and original cocktails. Bringing you back to the urban tenors of the late 1940s – early 1950s, New York. Som, one of our new Thaiger Vloggers sneaks in, and brings us her impressions of the place. Let’s check it out!

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Thailand

Lights, camera, Covid – Tourism Ministry wants film crews to come to Thailand now

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Lights, camera, Covid – Tourism Ministry wants film crews to come to Thailand now | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wind Up Films

Without much luck with their ‘cunning ideas’ to draw back a few of the remaining world’s travellers, Thailand’s tourism officials are turning to the film industry to attract some people and investment. The Tourism and Sports Ministry is aiming to generate around 3 billion baht from foreign film crews and is targeting film projects with an investment over 100 million baht.

Foreign tourism revenue drastically dropped 83% in 2020, diving from nearly 40 million tourists in 2019 to only 6.7 million tourists in 2020, the vast majority of those visiting in the first 3 months of the year.

Anant Wongbenjarat, the tourism department’s director-general, says that Thailand welcomed 176 international film productions to the country last year, generating 1.73 billion baht. But this impressive number is a sharp decrease compared to 2019 when 740 foreign film crews generated 4.86 billion baht for the local economy.

Let’s face it, with long stretches of empty beaches and quieter streets, especially in some of the tourist hot spots at the moment, there’s never been a better time for international film crews to shoot their films in the Land of Smiles.

Fast & Furious 9 was shooting in and around the Krabi province during 3 months in 2019. Read about that HERE.

Check out The Thaiger’s pick for the Top 10 foreign films made in Thailand HERE.

Last August, the CCSA granted “special entry” permission for film productions to shoot in Thailand and take advantage of the amazing scenery, generally “under control” Covid situation and the country’s highly skilled film production crews. 53 film production projects were based, and mostly shot, in Thailand between August and December last year, contributing 1.14 billion baht to the economy.

But, you guessed it, all crews and actors entering Thailand still had to undergo the mandatory 14 day quarantine.

“International productions can proceed and generate income for locals despite the tourism slowdown. In the first half of this year, there will be nine more productions expected to come in and help create at least 800 jobs for locals.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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