Undeniably one of the greatest and most-enjoyed forms of entertainment, movie theater-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 movie theaters 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 movie theaters 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 Movie theater City, with branches at leading shopping malls like MBK Center and the Emporium. Smaller chains include Apex in Siam Square, Thana Cineplex, Major Hollywood and UMG.


    Good to know about movie theaters in Bangkok

    Ticket prices range from 100 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 around 250 baht. For those who want to experience the ultimate comfort, go for 'VIP' movie theaters/seats (prices range from 600 to 1,500 baht) for extra legroom, 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 movie theaters' websites and box offices.

    Something you need to know
    The most important thing to be aware of when you attend the movie theater in Thailand is that you'll will e required to rise for the Royal Anthem in honor of His Majesty the 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 movie theaters playing Thai and other Asian films usually provide English subtitles. Check with the movie theater first to avoid disappointment.


    Major Cineplex

    Major Cineplex at the Esplanade houses 12 movie theaters, with 5 grades of seating from Normal Seat (basic, individual seat) to the ultra-comfortable Emperor Seat (twin seats with an adjustable leg rest).

    The 2 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 standalone lifestyle complex with a shopping arcade, fast-food eateries and Blu-O karaoke and bowling.

    Location: 99 Ratchadaphisek Rd, Din Daeng, Bangkok 10400

    Open: Varies

    Phone: +66 (0)2 354 2133


    Paragon Cineplex

    Covering a total area of 25,000 square meters, Paragon Cineplex comprises many different screens which increase in price according to the quality. There's a main 14-screen multiplex movie theatre, an IMAX theatre (perfect for the kids), a luxurious Nokia Ultra Screen, the exclusive Enigma Shadow Screen – with a nightclub ambience and plush love seats, ideal for private parties – and the spacious 1,200-seat Siam Pavalai amphitheater. Siam Paragon is connected to Siam BTS station.

    Location: 991 Rama I Rd, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

    Open: Varies

    Phone: +66 (0)2 129 4635


    Bangkok Airways Blue Ribbon Screen at Paragon Cineplex

    Great for couples, the Nokia Ultra Galleria is tinged with sexy crimson and ceiling-to-floor chiffon creating an illusion of an exotic hideaway. You'll 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 movie theater is spacious with 'block seats' ensuring maximum privacy intended solely for uninterrupted 'movie discussions'. The seats go completely horizontal at a simple flick of a button, and they're highly counteractive to your ability to stay awake during the movie. Upon settling into your 'bed', you're offered a pillow and blanket for extra comfort. Popcorn and drinks can conveniently be ordered directly from inside the movie theater and will be delivered straight to your lap before the previews begin. It has the latest digital technology at work – both in terms of surround sound and screen quality.

    Location: 991 Rama I Rd, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

    Open: Varies

    Phone: +66 (0)2 129 4635


    Krungsri IMAX

    IMAX is the ultimate movie experience with an 8-storey-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 favorite movies with the extraordinary visual clarity and sound quality. The screen is so large it consumes your whole vision.

    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: 991 Rama I Rd, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

    Open: Varies

    Phone: +66 (0)2 129 4631


    photo by Curtis Winston (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    The Scala Movie theater 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 great value ticket prices to the stunning Art Deco building, everything here has been preserved and it's worth a trip just to stand in the domed-ceiling entrance and be transported to another age.

    Read more

    Location: Siam Square, Rama 1 Rd, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

    Open: Varies

    Phone: +66 (0)2 251 2861


    SFX Movie theater

    Designed under the 'boutique chic' concept, SFX Movie theater at The Emporium mall is stylishly decked out in a sophisticated black and scarlet color scheme.

    The venue features five 200-seat movie theaters, with stylish cream-colored leather seats of various grades. All the major Hollywood movies will be screened here and it's directly connected to Phrom Phong BTS station.

    Location: 622 Soi Sukhumvit 24, Khlong Toei, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

    Open: Varies

    Phone: +66(0)2 260 9333


    Apex movie theatres

    The Apex Group includes Lido and Scala theatres, all located in the Siam Square area. These theatres were built in the late-1960s and have changed little since.

    The venues are generally less crowded than other movie theaters 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 movie theaters not only show Hollywood films but also a selection of art and independent films from all over the world.

    Location: Siam Square, Rama 1 Rd, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

    Open: Varies

    Phone: +66 (0)2 252 6498 (Lido); +66 (0)2 251 2861 (Scala)


    Century Movie Plaza Victory Monument

    The 8-storey Century Movie Plaza Victory Monument is a lifestyle complex with 8 movie theater screens, food courts, a shopping arcade, karaoke club and edutainment area all in one place.

    It's the best movie theater in the Victory Monument area, with 2,000 seats and futuristic interior design. The mall is directly at the base of Victory Monument BTS station.

    Location: 15 Phayathai Rd, Phaya Thai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

    Open: Varies

    Phone: +66 (0)2 247 1111


    House RCA

    A refuge for lovers of art and Indie films, House RCA may be humble in its size but the tasteful design and a home-like atmosphere definitely make up for it. Tickets are generally cheaper than at the mainstream movie theatres, and House RCA plays many arthouse movies that you will struggle to find elsewhere in Bangkok.

    RCA is also home to downtown Bangkok's only go-kart track.

    Location: 31/9 Rama 9 Rd, Soi 26 Bang Kapi, Huai Khwang, Bangkok 10310, Thailand

    Open: Varies

    Phone: +66 (0)2 641 5177

    Willy Thuan | Compulsive Traveler

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