Chula Says No Plan to Demolish Scala – For Now

Scala Theatre. Photo: Thai Film Archive

BANGKOK — Chulalongkorn University on Thursday disputes reports that a popular theatre on its land will be razed to the ground after the lease contract comes to an end next week. 

A press officer from the university’s Property Management Office said Chulalongkorn currently has no plans in motion to bulldoze the historic Scala Theatre, which is set to close its door on Sunday after 51 years of operation. The building may also be rented by other businesses in the future. 

 “Now we’re in the process of finding a new renter, which could take years,” the PR officer, who would only identify herself as May, said by phone. “Demolition isn’t even discussed in the process yet.” 

May declined to give her full name because she was not authorized to speak to reporters on record. Orawan Chawasilp from the national film archive said Scala declined to comment on the issue by telephone; interviews with Scala management must be conducted only in-person. 

“We will have to discuss with Scala again,” May said. “Scala hasn’t moved out yet, and right now we still can’t find a new renter.” 

The statement contradicts rumors and speculation on social media that the cinema is slated to be demolished. 

“And now the Scala … is now going to be destroyed and replaced by yet another mall,” said an article on the Thai Enquirer news website. 

But the end of the road for the cinema is real enough. Scala is holding its last screenings from Friday through Sunday, which sold out over the weekend. Loyal fans waited in queues for as long as three hours to purchase tickets over the past weekend.

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