Cinemas in Bangkok
Where to Watch a Movie in Bangkok
Undeniably one of the greatest and most-enjoyed forms of entertainment, cinema-going offers an experience ideal for the whole family. Let's face it, nothing comes close to sharing popcorn while watching the latest offering from Hollywood. Home to the best and biggest cinemas in this region, Bangkok is becoming a hub for modern 'cineplexes', where sleek bowling alleys as well as modish karaoke facilities are often included.
Most cinemas in Bangkok are located in shopping malls, and are dominated by the Major Cineplex company, which owns the Major Cineplex, EGV, Paragon Cineplex at Siam Paragon and Thailand's only IMAX theatre. The second biggest operator is SF Cinema City, with branches at leading shopping malls like MBK Centre and the Emporium. Smaller chains include Apex in Siam Square, Thana Cineplex, Major Hollywood and UMG.
Popular Cinemas in Bangkok
Ticket prices range from less than a hundred baht up to several hundred baht (depending on the time of day, the day of the week, the seat, the location of the theatre and the movie being screened). Generally, the price for a new-release film costs 120 baht. For those who want to experience the ultimate comfort, go for 'VIP' cinemas/seats (prices range from 600 to 1,500 baht) for extra leg room, fully-inclined sofa as well as a pillow and a pair of socks! Seating is assigned by ticket number, which audience members select on a computer screen at the box office. Showtimes of each film can be found in English newspapers like the Bangkok Post or the Nation as well as the cinema’s websites and box offices.
Something You Need to Know
The most important thing to be aware of when you attend the cinema in Thailand is that you will be required to rise for the Royal Anthem in honour of His Majesty King and the Royal family before the movie starts.
Language and Subtitles
In central Bangkok and touristy cities like Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Phuket, foreign films (such as Hollywood releases) have the original soundtrack (or 'soundtrack') with Thai sub-titles. Major cinemas playing Thai and other Asian films usually provide English subtitles. Check with the cinema first to avoid disappointment.
The Apex Group includes Lido, Scala and Siam (now defunct) theatres, all located in Siam Square area. These theatres were built in the late 1960s and have changed little since. The venues are generally less crowded than other cinemas in Bangkok, but also less sophisticated in terms of seating arrangements and options, so it's usually possible to obtain the desired seating just minutes before the showtime. The Apex cinemas not only show Hollywood films, but also a selection of art and independent films from all over the world.
- Location: Siam Square
- BTS: Siam
- Tel: +66 (0)2 252 6498 (Lido); +66 (0)2 251 2861 (Scala)
- How to get there: The BTS Siam Station drops you just a few steps from the theatres.
Century Movie Plaza
The eight-story Century Movie Plaza is a lifestyle complex with eight cinema screens, food courts, a shopping arcade, karaoke club and edutainment area all in one place. It is the best cinema in the Victory Monument area, with 2,000 seats and futuristic interior design.
- Location: Soi Rang Nam, Phaya Thai Road
- BTS: Victory Monument
- Tel: +66 (0)2 247 1111
- How to get there: Take exit 2 from the BTS Victory Monument and the walkway leads you right into the Century building.
Major Cineplex at the Esplanade houses 12 cinemas, with five grades of seating from Normal Seat (basic, individual seat) to the ultra-comfortable Emperor Seat (twin seats with adjustable leg rest). The two BSC Diamond Screens are private screening rooms for VIP guests or for hosting exclusive parties. The Sukhumvit branch is housed on the 5th and 6th floors of a stand-alone lifestyle complex with a shopping arcade, fast food eateries and Blu-O karaoke and bowling.
- Location: The Esplanade Cineplex Ratchada; Sukhumvit (Ekamai)
- MRT: Thailand Cultural Center (The Esplanade)
- BTS: Ekamai (Major Sukhumvit)
A refuge for lovers of art/indie films, House RCA may be humble in its size but the tasteful design and a home-like atmosphere definitely make up for it. (RCA is also home to Bangkok's one and only PTT Speedway Go-Karts.)
- Location: 31/8 Royal City Avenue (MRT Petchaburi station, take Exit 1 and then grab a taxi to TOPS supermarket in RCA)
Covering a total area of 25,000 square metres, Paragon Cineplex comprises a 14-screen multiplex movie theatre, IMAX theatre (perfect for the kids), luxurious Nokia Ultra Screen, the exclusive Enigma Shadow Screen – with a night club ambience and plush love seats, ideal for private parties – and the spacious 1,200-seat Siam Pavalai amphitheatre.
- Location: 5th Floor Siam Paragon
- BTS: Siam
- Tel: +66 (0)2 129 4635, +66 (0)2 129 4636
- How to get there: The BTS Siam Station has direct access to the Siam Paragon shopping mall.
Bangkok Airways Blue Ribbon Screen at Paragon Cineplex
Seemingly designed to intensify the passion of lovers, the Nokia Ultra Galleria is tinged with sexy crimson and ceiling-to-floor chiffon creating an illusion of an exotic hideaway. You will be welcomed with complimentary soft drinks and a snack, then invited to have a free preview massage at the Pranali Wellness Spa booth located inside the Galleria. You can also further indulge in the nifty massage chairs - known as the iSqueez - equipped with various set modes to suit every aching need.
The cinema is spacious with 'block seats' ensuring maximum privacy intended solely for uninterrupted 'movie discussion'. The seats go completely horizontal at a simple flick of a button, and they are highly counteractive to your ability to stay awake during the movie. Upon settling in to your 'bed', you're offered a pillow and blanket for extra comfort. Popcorn and drinks can conveniently be ordered directly from inside the cinema, and will be delivered straight to your lap before the previews begin.
With the latest digital technology at work - both in terms of surround sound and screen quality - you're bound to be transported into another world in no time.
- Location: 5th Floor, Siam Paragon (BTS Siam)
- BTS: Siam
- Price Range: THB 600 / person
'See More, Hear More, Feel More' sums up everything Krungsri IMAX has to offer. It's the ultimate movie experience with an eight storeys-high crystal clear image, digital surround sound, and the special IMAX 3D goggles that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Experience the adventure, drama and emotion of some of your favourite movies with the extraordinary visual clarity and sound quality.
IMAX takes you on unforgettable journeys of Hollywood offerings such as The Polar Express, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and The Matrix Revolutions, to name but a few. Not only entertaining, IMAX is also educational as excellent documentaries like the Everest, Into the Deep, Space Station, and the Panda Adventure are featured. Technically advanced and visually stunning, the IMAX Experience is the world's most powerful and immersive movie experience that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
- Location: 5th Floor, Siam Paragon
- BTS: Siam
- Tel: +66 (0)2 129 4631
- Price Range: 200 - 500 baht
The Scala Cinema in Siam Square offers a more modest one-screen experience compared to the large complex situated in Siam Paragon just across the road. Built in 1967, this exquisitely maintained movie theatre is worth a trip not only for the bargain priced seats and popcorn, but also for the retro setting. From the tickets to the building, everything here has been preserved and it is worth a trip just to stand in the domed-ceiling entrance and be transported to another age.
- Location: Scala Theatre, Siam Square Soi 1, Rama I Rd
- BTS: Siam
Designed under the 'boutique chic' concept, SFX Cinema at The Emporium shopping centre is stylishly decked out in a sophisticated black and scarlet colour scheme. The venue features five 200-seat cinemas, with stylish cream-coloured leather seats of various grades.
- Location: Sukhumvit, Phrom Phong
- BTS: Phrom Phong
- Tel: +66(0)2 268 8888
- How to get there: Take exit 2 from the BTS Phrom Phong, and the walkway leads you right into The Emporium shopping mall.
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