Bangkok’s Hidden Gems: The Scala Theater (2.44)

2017-11-12T21:15:56+00:00

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We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – Bangkok is an interesting city; but it ain’t a pretty city. But that’s not to say that there aren’t places of architectural significance or historical importance, because there are. One of those is the magnificent Scala theater – at least until it gets knocked down for another mall. Oh, and while recording this episode on location at the Scala, we were kicked out because we didn’t have permission (you can hear this conversation with the theater’s major domo in the Patreon bonus content). Also in this episode, Evo wonders why bowling in Thailand is more glam than redneck, and Greg muses about the dangers of driving huge trucks in Bangkok if you can’t see out of the goddamn windows.

Where we come from – and perhaps where you, dear reader, also come from – bowling is something you do for a laugh. It’s a sport so ridiculous, so fringe, so cheesy, that it’s hard to take anyone seriously who takes it seriously. But not in Thailand – no, here people actually dress up to head to the bowling alley with friends. As he prepares to head out with wifey’s friends for an evening of ball play, Evo is unsure what to expect.

But our main topic is the awesome Scala movie theater, one of the Bangkok’s last, best remnants of a more glamorous time, where movies were shown in 70mm and theaters were – as you can still see – built with more love and attention to detail than a modern office building.

But how long will it last? Owned by Chulalongkorn University, the land that the Scala sits on is some of the most valuable real estate in the country, and when money talks, no one’s speaking very loudly by selling movie seats at 100 baht a pop. So sadly, inevitably, it’s only a matter of time until the Scala gets turned into a new mall, but until then, it’s open for business. We discuss its history, its significance, and why should make it a point to make a visit post-haste.

And – as a bonus – here’s the picture if Pinocchio from the Scala that Greg mentioned in this episode’s Patreon bonus content – just before they got kicked out of the theater.

Love, Loathe, or Leave

Greg wonders why in the HELL the drivers of trucks – not pickups or ¼-ton specials, but full-size 2-ton big-rigs – feel the need to cover their windshields with stickers, add lights and various bling to the mirrors, and otherwise bedazzle their trucks all to hell. Safe? Nope. Aerodynamic? Nope. Cool looking? Also nope…at least from our perspective.

We Love Our Supporters!

This week we’re giving a HUGE thank you to Matt B, who is supporting the show at the highest level, meaning that he’ll soon get a personalized, very special gift from us. We also tell you why Matt is the type of guy you wish you knew, and hope to have around if a fire ever breaks out.

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If you’re really new, the Bangkok Podcast is co-hosted by Greg Jorgensen and Evo Terra. Together the have over 20 years expat experience in Bangkok, and are self-certified experts in living in the City of Angels.

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