Cinemas, Concert Halls and Theatres
- Thailand Cultural Centre boasts two large auditoriums and one outdoor stage. It is used for a variety of live performances all year round. The main hall seats 2000 and is used for theatre productions and concerts. It is located on Ratchadaphisek Road in Huai Khwang and is close to the Thailand Cultural Centre metro station. For information about what is on and to be kept up-to-date with all of the tickets on sale, visit http://www.thaiticketmajor.com
- Queen Sirikit National Convention Center often hosts exhibitions and conventions with evening entertainment. The main hall can hold up to 5,000 people as well as the exhibitions themselves. Businesses from around the world hold events here and while some are by invitation only, many are for everyone and include wine and food tastings, music concerts, speakers and film previews. It is located in the centre of town, adjacent to Queen Sirikit National Convention Center station on the Skytrain. For more information about upcoming events, visit http://www.qsncc.com
- IMPACT Arena is the largest entertainment complex in the whole of Bangkok and is the primary venue for Thai and international pop and rock music concerts. It seats 12,000 people and has seen world famous artists such as Kylie Minogue, Pet Shop Boys, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Janet Jackson, Gwen Stefani, Robbie Williams, Sting, Eric Clapton and Elton John perform there. It is also home to Disney on Ice every year and hosted the 2005 Miss World Beauty Pageant. As well as music and entertainment, it is also a sporting venue. It has hosted the Thailand Open Tennis Tournament and many international Muay Thai matches. It is located in Amphoe Pak Kret, Nonthaburi. For more information about up and coming events and to buy tickets, visit http://www.impact.co.th
- Chalermkrung Royal Theatre is located on Charoen Krung Road in Wang Burapha Phirom. It first opened its doors in 1933 and specialises in performances of Khon, traditional Thai dances which are approximately two hours long and centre their story on aspects of Thai history and myths. The theatre was built as a royal project and also stage Thai arts performances throughout the year. Local buses travel here, although it is easier to take a taxi or drive. For more information, call +662 222-0434.
- Bangkok Opera is the fastest growing operatic society in the whole of Southeast Asia. Their concert hall is located on Sukhumvit 22 and is also home to the Siam Philharmonic Orchestra. Concerts are given regularly throughout the year. For more information, visit http://www.bangkokopera.com.
- The National Theatre is growing every year, with an increasing number of international and English speaking productions being performed. It also hosts Khon performances (see the Chalermkrung Royal Theatre) and Thai traditional music concerts. Call +662 224-1342 for more information.
Cinemas are prevalent throughout the town and the surrounding suburbs. Every suburb has at least one cinema while the inner city has a cinema in every shopping center. For a full listing of what is being shown at each cinema, visit: http://www.movieseer.com. All films (unless they are actual Thai films) are shown in English with Thai subtitles and can be seen approximately one week after they are released in the US.
Most cinemas in Bangkok are found in the shopping malls around the city. The chain Major Cineplex dominates the market which owns all Major Cineplex cinemas, EGV, Cineplex in Paragon and the only IMAX theater in Thailand. The second largest chain is SF Cinema which has branches in many shopping malls like MBK and Emporium. There are several smaller chains such as Apex, Thana Cineplex, UMG and Major Hollywood.
It’s possible to book tickets in advance at most cinemas either online (Major Cineplex, iMax and SF Cinema City) or by telephone through the theatre’s website or phone.
Tickets range from 70-150 Baht depending on which theater and what movie.
Note: In the beginning of a movie the Royal anthem will be played and you will be expected to stand.
The Apex cinemas include Siam, Scala and Lido and are all found in the Siam Square area. They show Hollywood and local movies, as well as less mainstream movies. It’s also the home of the annual Little Big Film Festival where smaller independent movies are shown. The Apex cinemas are less crowded than other cinemas, so it’s usually not necessary to book tickets in advance. Their website is: http://www.apexsiam-square.com
Century Movie Plaza
This cinema near Victory Monument has eight screens, a food court, shopping arcade and karaoke. CMP is located at Soi Rangnam.
Tel: 02 247 1111
Major Cineplex & EGV
These cinemas are very popular and found in many shopping malls around the city. There is a number of them around the Central Business District including one in Central World. Their website is http://www.majorcineplex.com, where you can also order tickets.
EGV has their flagship branch in Siam Discovery Centre.
SF Cinema City
This chain has several branches. The two largest are the one on the top floor of MBK and the one in Emporium. You can find more info on their web: http://www.sfcinemacity.com
This is Thailand’s only IMAX cinema found on the 5th floor of Siam Paragon in the Paragon Cineplex. http://www.imaxthai.com/
If you would rather watch a film at home, all of the shopping malls mentioned in our Shopping Section sell the latest DVD’s as do many of the night markets (especially Suan Lum Night Bazaar). It is possible to rent DVD’s, but as they are so cheap to buy and you really need to be able to speak Thai to rent them, it is much easier to buy them. DVD’s are available anywhere, but watch out for VCD’s in Thai language only as they often look alike. There is a thriving market for copied DVD movies in Bangkok. Panthip Plaza and MBK have just about any popular movie or series made the last 20 years available. The price is 100 Baht but the quality can be lackluster for new releases.