Update: Scala announced Thursday that its final film screenings on July 4 and 5.
BANGKOK — One of Thailand’s last remaining stand-alone cinemas will stop its screenings at the beginning of July, the theatre management said Tuesday.
Although Scala in Siam Square survived threats of closure in the past, its parent company the Apex Scala announced in an online post that the time of goodbye is really here. The theatre would hold farewell events from July 3 to 5.
On July 3, all lights at the theater will be turned on to allow photographers and visitors a final look at the theater in all its glory. The last films to screen during the theater’s 51 years in operation on July 4 and 5 are “Blow-Up” at noon, “The Scala” and “Phantom of Illumination” at 3pm, and “Cinema Paradiso” at 6pm.
Perhaps owing to the theater’s Italian inspiration (Scala was named after the Teatro alla Scala in Milan), both of the foreign films showing are Italian: “Blow-Up” won the 1967 Grand Prix at Cannes, while “Cinema Paradiso” (1989) won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
“The Scala” is of course a documentary about Scala Theater, while “Phantom of Illumination” is a documentary about disappearing stand-alone theaters in Thailand.
Tickets go on sale Saturday for 140 baht and 160 baht.
The theatre sits on land owned by Chulalongkorn University. Its contract is set to expire at the end of this month. It is unclear what the university will do with the theatre building, much renowned for its Art Deco and late modernist styles.
Scala and its 800 seats have been in operation since 1969. It is one of the last independent cinemas left in Thailand, a country dominated by a duopoly of Major Cineplex and SF Cinema chains.
In June 2018, the nearby Lido Theatre, also owned by Apex, was shut down after their contract with Chulalongkorn University also expired. The company organized an emotional final screening attended by loyal cinema fans.