Watch a Movie in Style at Bangkok’s Unique and Independent Cinemas

July 23, 2019
Chateau de Bangkok

Bangkok brims with high-tech cinemas, and all of them offer a unique experience for moviegoers. If you’re a tourist and it will be your first time to watch a movie in one of Bangkok’s cinema houses, you’re in for a treat. For just a few hundred baht, you can enjoy a comfortable movie night thanks to reclining seats, adequate legroom, marvelous sound systems, and overall state-of-the-art theater features. These cinemas can also be found in some of the world’s most impressive shopping centers.

If you don’t mind splurging a bit more for the ultimate cinema experience, you should buy tickets to VIP theaters. Although more expensive than the regular cinema rates, ticket prices for these VIP theaters are still affordable considering the quality of the cinema. The experience is sure to meet western standards for a fraction of the cinema rates in western countries! These VIP theaters boast of ultra-comfortable reclining seats with some even featuring full-on beds complete with blankets. You will also get an at-seat service of snacks and drinks.

True enough, these high-end cinemas will give you a wonderful time. However, because there are already many of them in Bangkok, they’ve become all too common. Additionally, if you are from a first-world western country, you’re probably used to going to theaters of such caliber. Wouldn’t it be nice if you experienced a different kind of movie watching?

Despite the abundance of high-end theaters, Bangkok still has something to offer beyond the usual. Here are two independent and arthouse cinemas that you should check out.


Scala Cinema

The Scala is a historic cinema located in the Siam Square shopping area, standing on the land of Chulalongkorn University properties. It is part of the Apex Group of Cinemas. It opened on December 31, 1969, with 1000 seats, and is known for its Art Deco interiors and late Modernist exteriors. Because of the brilliant preservation efforts spent on the cinema, it has received the Architectural Conservation Award from the Association of Siamese Architects (ASA) in 2012.

Scala is typically used to show different movies, but at cheaper prices compared with other cinemas in Bangkok. It is also a popular venue for holding events related to independent and architecture films. It is also widely used for movie events, such as the Bangkok International Film Festival, the Silent Film Festival, and the Salaya International Documentary Film Festival.

Scala is Thailand’s oldest single-screen cinema. Up to now, it still uses handwritten raffle-style tickets that you can get from the mini box office.

Whether you want to watch an independent film, take photos in the art deco lobby, or both, the Scala will not disappoint.


House RCA

As new and modern as Scala is historic, House RCA is a boutique cinema that strives for uniqueness. This is where you can watch independent movies that the bigger cinemas don’t show. You’ll have to make an extra effort finding this cinema, as it is tucked in the far end of Royal City Avenue (RCA). Yes, the nightlife street known for its clubs like Route 66 hides this gem of a cinema. Finding the movie house itself can make the experience even more memorable!

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