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Opinion: Scala could have been the heart of Thai cinema for decades


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By Thai Enquirer

 

As someone who has grown up around and spent a career making movies, I understand how good cinema can be a catharsis for important conversation, introspection, or snapshot of the current zeitgeist.

 

Good films, and even the infrastructure that support good films, can serve as time capsules to important periods of history. When we watch Casablanca, not only are we engrossed in the struggles of Ilsa and Rick, but we are also given a glimpse of wartime Europe and all its tribulations.

 

When you walk through Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, you not only anticipate the next movie you’re about to see but are able to physically be a part of the history of cinema itself.

 

Full story: https://www.thaienquirer.com/34810/opinion-scala-could-have-been-the-heart-of-thai-cinema-for-decades/

 

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Cinemas are fast turning into irrelevance all over the world.

Why pay an expensive ticket price when they can watch it at home for free at any time they choose. Or, just watch Netflix and Hulu.

Knock it down and build something useful.

Artistic merit? I'm sure the land-owner will be swung by that reason.

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3 hours ago, roquefort said:

It was part of Bangkok's cultural history and so worth preserving.

 

But no, lets's go build another shopping mall.

Yeah, it must be much better than a half rotten building that the owners do not seem to care about.

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10 hours ago, Gottfrid said:

Where is the importance? It´s only a building that have been used as a cinema!

Because art is important for life and culture. This could have been made into a unique arthouse style cinema, showing films that the multiplexes wouldn't touch, late night showings of classics, art events, film festivals etc.  You go to most great cities, they have a place like this. And they are all seen as an important part of the culture of cinema, film and art. 

 

But what do we have left? More vapid corporate shopping malls, where the key to happiness is a bigger credit card bill. It is a travesty to the culture and history of this city.  And don't come back with the old bs trope of Thais don't care, I know plenty of Thais who are <deleted> about this. 

Edited by PremiumLane
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4 hours ago, KarenBravo said:

Cinemas are fast turning into irrelevance all over the world.

Why pay an expensive ticket price when they can watch it at home for free at any time they choose. Or, just watch Netflix and Hulu.

Knock it down and build something useful.

Artistic merit? I'm sure the land-owner will be swung by that reason.

arthouse films, film festivals, talks with directors, late night showings, classic cinema, showing films that people want to see on the big screen, music and film events - yeah, souless multiplexes might be dying, but real art cinema is not

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2 minutes ago, PremiumLane said:

so mismanagement is an excuse to build another <deleted> shopping mall? Why not give it to people who would have managed it properly? 

Because it is not needed no more. Please let the world evolve. What use do you have to look at an old building that has absolutely no purpose. Better spend money on the things people need instead.

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5 minutes ago, PremiumLane said:

Because art is important for life and culture. This could have been made into a unique arthouse style cinema, showing films that the multiplexes wouldn't touch, late night showings of classics, art events, film festivals etc.  You go to most great cities, they have a place like this. And they are all seen as an important part of the culture of cinema, film and art. 

 

But what do we have left? More vapid corporate shopping malls, where the key to happiness is a bigger credit card bill. It is a travesty to the culture and history of this city.  And don't come back with the old bs trope of Thais don't care, I know plenty of Thais who are <deleted> about this. 

Hey, next time you are in London, do not forget to visit Madame Tussauds. I heard that the vax is starting to melt, due to the climate change. Heck, it looks like they are alive! Run......run......they are legion!!

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16 minutes ago, Gottfrid said:

Because it is not needed no more. Please let the world evolve. What use do you have to look at an old building that has absolutely no purpose. Better spend money on the things people need instead.

well you used a really dumb comparison with Madame Tussauds, that literally made no sense. Also, you do known that arthouse cinemas in cities are successful, but hey you carry on ???? 

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26 minutes ago, PremiumLane said:

arthouse films, film festivals, talks with directors, late night showings, classic cinema, showing films that people want to see on the big screen, music and film events - yeah, souless multiplexes might be dying, but real art cinema is not

Unfortunately, you can't do those things all day, every day. Plus they cost the organizers money. No profit, no cinema.

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Sad that the lovely Scala is no more. The bigger picture is that Thailand has no concept of preservation, artistic or achitectural attractiveness, or any concept of what might create a pleasant environment for locals and visitors.

 

Singapore had big plans do bulldoze everything that was old, or not modern and shiny. Somehow, there was intervention and the older places that survived are a gold mine of social and cultural draw. Unfortunately, the Old Seventh Story Hotel along an old road in a green space, with an old brass accordian door lift, was swallowed up before they came to their senses.

 

Thailand shows no sign of making any chnages to their ‘new, shiny and concrete is better’ philosophy. 

 

How about the way they decimate old trees or just rip them out all together? No concept of what makes an attractive environment.

 

PS- I don’t think Scala could have been saved due to the disaster that is Siam Square.

Edited by Kwarium
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50 minutes ago, PremiumLane said:

well you used a really dumb comparison with Madame Tussauds, that literally made no sense. Also, you do known that arthouse cinemas in cities are successful, but hey you carry on ???? 

Ok, I am dumb but have no problem with an old unused cinema that has to go and leave room for something new. You consider yourself able to call other people dumb, but you must hold on to the past. Ok, good luck with that. As you said, feel free to go on.

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1 hour ago, KarenBravo said:

Unfortunately, you can't do those things all day, every day. Plus they cost the organizers money. No profit, no cinema.

so all those art cinemas around the world that do this aren't actually doing it then? No, <deleted> Sherlock they cost money, but you make money back,,,, it is genius 

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39 minutes ago, Gottfrid said:

Ok, I am dumb but have no problem with an old unused cinema that has to go and leave room for something new. You consider yourself able to call other people dumb, but you must hold on to the past. Ok, good luck with that. As you said, feel free to go on.

lol taking umbrage, bless 

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The 'Scala'!

 

What memories of the 'Scala' cinema in Walton Street, Oxford. Some of the best years of my life were spent there. Anybody else remember?

 

And no! Watching movies at home can never be like watching movies in a real cinema - real, not these boring modern multiplexes, of course. Boring cinemas showing boring movies.

 

The first movies I saw were with Dad - great double bill of 'Lives of a Bengal Lancer' and 'Gunga Din' at the Theatre - and then we saw 'High Noon' at the Palace - and "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' at the Ritz (no idea why he wanted to see that! He probably told Mum he was taking me to a cowboy movie!)

 

Bag of hot cashew nuts from Woolies. a Kia-Ora orange drink, and a strawberry Mivvi - heaven! Three cinemas in a town that now has none.

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1 hour ago, PremiumLane said:

so all those art cinemas around the world that do this aren't actually doing it then? No, <deleted> Sherlock they cost money, but you make money back,,,, it is genius 

Art-house cinema in Thailand?

Sorry, but Fast and Furious and Transformers is what sells here, not the Bicycle Thieves and Metropolis.

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34 minutes ago, KarenBravo said:

Art-house cinema in Thailand?

Sorry, but Fast and Furious and Transformers is what sells here, not the Bicycle Thieves and Metropolis.

Well there we go, "THaIS cAN't aPPrECIaTe CulTURe" - you do know there is already an arthouse cinema in Bangkok, right? 

 

But the opportunity to turn a magnificent example of old style Asian cinema into a showpiece cultural film centre and space has been lost.  All for another souless shopping centre. 

 

And by the way, there is only one person around here showing their lack of cultural understanding, and that ain't the Thais ???? 

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Though many may not agree culture is not only important, it is a symbol of the richness of a society and it's people. Thailand pays very little regard to culture. One could say the lack of culture here is a cultural defect and a form of bankruptcy. Certainly the inability to even acknowledge the vital role culture plays within a society is a major local defect. It is not only about money. Certainly there is more to life than malls. Bangkok needs another mall, like the Middle East needs more extremists. 

 

MOCA is a good example. 

Thanks to one private citizen Bangkok has a world class museum called MOCA, near Don Muang. It is a structure that was built by the brilliant and visionary Boonchai Bencharongkul. The founder of D-Tac. The five storeys of MOCA contain over 800 pieces of art collected by communications magnate Boonchai, and showcase the development of Thai fine art since the introduction of modern western concepts.

 

Since he could not find funding from the ignorant non visionaries in the government, he self funded the museum. $30,000,000 for the land and the building, and then he added his personal collection, which is outstanding. 

 

 

Edited by spidermike007
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1 hour ago, PremiumLane said:

Well there we go, "THaIS cAN't aPPrECIaTe CulTURe" - you do know there is already an arthouse cinema in Bangkok, right? 

 

But the opportunity to turn a magnificent example of old style Asian cinema into a showpiece cultural film centre and space has been lost.  All for another souless shopping centre. 

 

And by the way, there is only one person around here showing their lack of cultural understanding, and that ain't the Thais ???? 

Cultural snob alert!

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