I still haven’t set my TV channels since moving to Bangkok two years ago. Mostly because I am lazy, and with a TV to distract me, I am guaranteed to spend more time flicking through channels than being productive. I did hope to read books more and aspire to be cultured, but, yeah, that never happened.
Instead, given I have no TV, I spend a lot of my time in Bangkok cinemas. Last week I even watched the new Twilight Movie. It was a bit excruciating. Like 2 hours of Enya. Anyway, I won’t be watching the however many Twilights they had before.
Malls, 4D Cinema and Indie Theatres
Bangkok cinemas are easy to find at every major mall. Guaranteed to be two or three within a short taxi ride with 3D, Imax etc. The central Siam Paragon mall also has a 4D cinema, which is more or less a 3D cinema with seats that move and other special effects. Still haven’t been myself mostly because the 4D movies shown to date were crap (update we watched Robocop). Half this year was Titanic and watching Leonardo Dicaprio while having salty liquids splashed in my face doesn’t really appeal to me (update Robocop was awesome).
Instead, I cross the road to a couple of my favourite Bangkok cinemas in the Siam Square area. The old-school, indie Lido Cinema and Scala Theatre. Iconic 1960s theatres, which were demolished to make way for yet another Bangkok Mall. Apparently, the area needs more shiny new malls.
The Royal Anthem
In Bangkok cinemas, the audience must stand to the Thai Royal Anthem (below) before each movie. Something which the UK stopped doing long before my cinema days.
Cheap Tickets for 12/12/12
I am writing this post on 12/12/12. Today I woke to an offer of 12 Baht tickets and 12 Baht popcorn at the nearby Major Cinema. This is for every movie starting at 12.12 pm. How could I turn it down?
Two cinema tickets and two popcorns for 48 Baht. That’s less than one British Pound.
Including taxis both ways, the overall price was less than one standard seat price of 170 Baht. A proper bargain. The movie for today was Cloud Atlas. Confusing. There was some excitement though 30-minutes in, with a power cut leaving us in darkness for 20 minutes.
The Thai Movies
In Bangkok cinemas, every English movie is played with the original soundtrack along with Thai subtitles. They do offer dubbed versions in some cinemas but not often these.
The local Thai movies are also sometimes included with English subtitles, but those without English subtitles aren’t going to be a huge loss, given local Thai movies are really not that great.
I’ve seen a couple of the better Thai movies on the big screen e.g. Ong Bak and See Prang. But the current Thai ‘blockbuster’ is “Super Salary Man” which looks fairly rubbish. Thai folk tend to enjoy a bit of slapstick comedy movies, people dressing up funny, slapping someone around a bit, falling over, and breaking stuff. Mum Jokmok is a personal favourite in these movies.