iSee Prince Theatre Heritage Stay

One of Bangkok’s last stand-alone cinemas turned hostel

A little gambling, a little Chinese opera

Before World War II, Prince Theatre was a casino where locals could exert risky behaviors in hopes for a high return. At the same time, it was also a venue for Chinese opera, which was decidedly the main form of entertainment for the Chinese diaspora in Bangkok back then. Its location was perfect as Bang Rak had a large Chinese population living in the area.

Once of the first and last standalone movie theatres

During the reign of King Rama V, movies started becoming popular and Prince Theatre remade itself into a successful standalone movie theatre. But this dream would not last. As Bangkok’s development moved away from the river to Sukhumvit, so did its patrons. Soon, it devolved into a pornographic movie theatre before falling into complete disuse. However, due to lucky circumstances, the structure was not torn down and today has been reborn as a boutique hostel.

Self-made sound effects

Residents around the movie theatre remember the old days of attending film screenings. At times when sound was not available, the theatre manager would have to provide voices and as well as produce sound effects. For sword fight scenes, moviegoers remember the sound of spoons striking one another coming from the loudspeakers.

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