CPRI 04: The Decline of Thailand’s Stand-alone Movie Theaters

Contraction of the Urban Commons

Through much of the twentieth century, stand-alone theaters were a social space which many people in Thailand considered part of the urban commons. They were social and economic centers, for people to meet and easily exchange information, goods and services under the auspices of entertainment. But new trends in development saw them slip into obsolescence by the end of the 20th century.

This book examines the decline of the stand-alone movie theater across Thailand. While attributed to changes in technology and consumer behavior, this study delves deeper into the causes and attempts to reconstruct how state-initiated development schemes combined with vertically integrated economic practices within Thailand’s movie industry further contributed to the loss of stand-alone movie theaters and the urban commons as a whole.

Publication date: February 2018

Available through Chiang Mai University Press