Scala Cinema (Bangkok)

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the Scala in 2018
the lobby hall

The Scala is a historic cinema in Bangkok, Thailand. It is located in the Siam Square shopping area, and forms part of the Apex group of cinemas. Opened in 1969, the Scala is the last remaining operational standalone single-screen cinema in the country, and today continues to offer a retro filmgoing experience.[1]

Designed by architect Chira Silpakanok, the building is late Modernist in design with interior decorations in the Art Deco style. The cinema received the ASA Architectural Conservation Award in 2012,[2] but its future remains uncertain as Chulalongkorn University, who owns the land, has announced plans to redevelop the property.[3]


Apex Group cinema[edit]

Scala is one of the Apex Group cinemas which contain Siam cinema, the late Lido cinema and Scala cinema. The 800-seat Siam cinema was opened on 15 December 1966 and "The Battle of the Bulge" was the first film to be shown there. 27 years later the Apex Group built the 1000 seat Lido Cinema which finally closed its doors in May 2018.


Scala is the name of the cinema located in Bangkok, Thailand. Scala is located on the land of Chulalongkorn university properties at Siam Square 1 Road. Scala cinema was opened on 31 December 1969 with 1000 seats inside and the first movie that was shown was The Undefeated (1969), a drama and action movie from the USA. Scala is popular in the term of architecture and design.


Scala is used to show every kind of movie in a cheaper price than other cinemas in Thailand and it is usually used to hold an event about Indie and Architecture film. The popularity of Scala is not by the film they are show, but it is about the retro style of watching movie that they provide to users that makes Scala one of the most popular standalone cinemas in Thailand.

Most of the time, Scala is also used to hold movie events, e.g., Bangkok international film festival, the silent film festival, the Salaya international documentary film festival and a design film week. This makes the Scala also become one of the event halls that every niche market film lover would be familiar with.



Scala was designed by Thai architect, Colonel Chira Silpakanok, who is one of the Former Presidents of the 'Association of Siamese Architects under Royal Patronage'.

Style of Architecture[edit]

Scala theatre has an “Art deco” style decoration. The interior uses the late modern curvy concrete columns and a 5-storey gigantic chandelier from Italy. Also, the ceiling has a stunning decoration. In 2012, the building was awarded the 'Outstanding Architecture Award' from the Association of Siamese Architects.

Scala relation with Thai people[edit]

Siam square, the location of Scala cinema, is one of the most popular recreational places for the young middle class population of Bangkok.

As of the late 2010s, the Scala cinema offers film lovers the chance to experience films that do not find billing in the larger cinemas in Bangkok, with many Japanese titles being billed as well as a good selection of Western releases. Being a single-screen cinema and with ticket prices much lower than the cinemas found in Bangkok shopping malls, Scala cinema can be seen as a more relaxed and more affordable place to see films. With the high-interest in 'retro' and 'vintage' style, Scala cinema is slowly becoming an attraction for those who regard these societal styles as attractive.

Future Plan[edit]

According to the land properties of Chulalongkorn University, the Scala theatre is considered to go out of the business and renovated into something else, but the people who love the retro film going experience and attached with the cinema have protested against the policy, so the plan has been postponed to the next three years.

The latest plan that has been announced for present day of Scala theatre is to narrow down the type of film that used to have every type to only Architecture films to lower the number of users. The government also has plans to keep the structure of Scala cinema and turn it into live museum in the near future.


  1. ^ "Scala's Got Soul". Bangkok 101. 27 July 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  2. ^ ชนสรณ์ บุญจำนงค์. "โรงภาพยนตร์สกาล่า". Association of Siamese Architects. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  3. ^ "Is it curtains for city's iconic cinemas?". Bangkok Post. 2 April 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2017.

Coordinates: 13°44′44″N 100°31′53″E / 13.74556°N 100.53139°E / 13.74556; 100.53139