Riz Visits the Scala: Bangkok’s Retro Movie Theatre
Watching Avengers: Endgame recently in the Scala cinema is probably one of the best experiences I’ve had in Bangkok! It’s a very well-maintained retro movie theatre open since the late 60’s in the Siam Square shopping area. Amongst Bangkok’s myriad high tech, fancy movie theatres, the Scala Theatre stands out as a unique experience, especially if you are truly a fan of old-school movie theatres. You can even get popcorn for 40 baht! It’s a must visit!
The Scala is the last remaining operational standalone single-screen cinema in Thailand. Not only that, but the ticket price (I paid 140 baht) is also cheaper than many of those expensive fashion mall cineplexes! It’s a hand-issued ticket which may make you feel nostalgic for the good old days (and if you are too young to know the good-ol-days, you’ll get a glimpse into what movie theatres used to be like)!
Famous for its staircase, (the namesake of ‘scala,’ meaning stair in Italian) the act of entering the building is just as much a part of the experience! The lobby still preserves its original art deco design and furnishings. Employees sport snazzy jacket and bow-tie combos of a gone by era. The seats are old but comfortable. The screen is nice, large and a bit curvy with a curtain giving off a true ‘theatre’ vibe. Films shown range from current blockbusters to independent films, all displayed in big red letters on the marquis out front, each put up by hand.
I loved the 70s vintage style signboards, the grandeur of the chandelier and the whole architecture of the building. If you are looking to find a cool, quiet, 70’s vintage style, well preserved theatre, then the Scala Theatre would be perfect for you (and your date)!
Location: Siam Square Soi 1, a few minutes walk from Siam BTS Station.