Movie Theatres in Bangkok
Movie Theatres seem to have opened again from 1 June. Screening times are limited to afternoon till early evening. Some 'older' movies make a new appearance. Worldwhile to check out the schedules to see what is on offer. There are restrictions on behavior in the theatres. Facemasks are obligatory, coupled seating is possible, but otherwise there will have to be a few empty seats between movie goers. No eating or drinking, not sure about rules about whether touching is allowed for couples.
Video of Movie Theatres at Siam Paragon at bottom of this page.
Bangkok also gives you ample opportunity to view (mostly) blockbuster movies in comfortable modern theatres.
Nowadays there are hardly any more stand-alone movie theatres (you will find the Lido, Scala theatres at Siam Square), but most theatres are incorporated in small shopping arcades, or bigger shopping centers.
Overall, the market is dominated by some major chains.
The largest cinema group is the Major Cineplex Group. Another group is SF Cinema City Organization, which operates SF Cinema City complexes in Bangkok. SF Cinema City also operates under the name SF Multiplex. SF Central World Cinemas (at Central World Plaza) also belongs to this group.
Many theatres are scattered around Bangkok. They offer quite comfortable seating, very good quality of sound (a bit loud) and picture, all at an attractive price. Standard fare seems to be between 120 and 220 baht per ticket (prices are low, but have gone up quite a bit the last few years). Wednesday seems to be a discount day at many locations, tickets often at 120 baht or so.
Most multiplex theatres offer also movie viewing in smaller theatres, with reclining seats, a free drink, some more privacy at rates of 300-600 baht. But take if from me, the regular seats are more than comfortable enough.
Siam Paragon Cineplex offers excellent value for money movie viewing.
What is on offer? Mostly all the recent Hollywood blockbusters. They are mostly shown in Bangkok at the same time as in U.S., probably to avoid loss of revenue due to piracy. Typically a recent movie will be shown at ALL locations, sometimes in more than one theatre at the same multiplex. You will have difficulty finding lesser known movies in Bangkok.
Most movies are preceded by prolonged advertising. It can go on for more than half an hour. A few minutes before the main feature, the Royal Anthem is played, and you stand up to pay your respect.
Movies are usually not shown for prolonged periods, but disappear after a week or two. Weekends and first showings can be very busy, but during the daytime on a regular weekday, you will find a lot of empty seats.
Almost always the English soundtrack is used with Thai translation.
It is easy to know which movies are currently shown, but knowing the exact schedule is another matter. The Bangkok Post offers a short synopsis of most feature films presently screened, but scheduling is not provided. Scheduling can be found on some of the movie theatre websites (see below). When looking for screening times, you should attempt to notice the different times for screenings in the regular theatres and in the smaller luxury theatres (300-600 baht range).
Traditionally, there are no late night movies.
Ticket boot for IMAX theatres.
We suggest you go to movie theatres located close to the skytrain stations.
Siam Paragon Cineplex is located on the 5th floor of the Siam Paragon Shopping Center (located at Siam Square main skytrain station). Try to find an elevator to get there, otherwise you will need to negotiate quite a few moving escalators. There are 9 regular theatres at Siam Paragon and 5 IMAX theatres. There are a few smaller luxury theatres.
If you want to avoid the prolonged advertising, we suggest you stay outsite the theatre in the separate plush lobby, and enter approximately 20 minutes after the announced screening times.
Getting a ticket could be a slow process, with a lot of casual talking going on between customers and ticket providers. Nowadays, getting a ticket is mostly a digital process. You choose your movie and seating electronically at the venue (you can often also book in advance), thoughl there is usually one person available if you want to buy a ticket the 'old' way (and the one we prefer).
As in other theatres, on wednesdays there are cheaper tickets for most movies, at 120 baht.
We also suggest you use the bathrooms before entering any theatre at Siam Paragon. Bathrooms are located quite poorly, a few hundred meters away, with poor signage provided.
IMAX Theatre shows a different type of movies, and mostly caters to nature lovers, but also some 'regular' movies in IMAX format. There are different seating arrangements and prices are between 200 and 350 baht a ticket.
Theatres showing 3-D movies have also been added recently.
There are a lot of theatres at SF World Cinema at CentralWorld. Since this is a huge shopping center, it takes a while to get to the upper floor where the theatres are located. Last time we visited we paid 180 baht for a regular ticket. It takes a little walk (about 600-800 meters, we reckon) to reach CentralWorld from the Chitlom BTS station. Tickets are discounted to 100 baht on wednesdays, good to know if you are on a tight budget.
We did not visit yet, but if you want a luxury movie viewing experience, you can check out Embassy Diplomat Screening at the newly opened Central Embassy. Located adjacent to Phloenchit BTS station. It offers luxury seating for couples, with just about 30 people per theatre.
SFX Cinema at Emporium (Phrompong skytrain station) is also easy to reach. However, there is a minor problem when exiting the theatre after closing time (of the shopping center), when you will be directed to the car park basement, and then will have to try to find your way back to Sukhumvit Road. SF Cinema has also a location at Terminal 21, which can easily be reached by both MRT and Skytrain, and which is our preferred location at this moment.
The Major Cineplex Sukhumvit is relatively close to Ekamai Skytrain station (about 500 meters walk, but you have to cross a rather 'nasty' street to get there).
The former RCA House Theatres has been reincarnated as House Samyan, and changed location from RCA off Petchaburi road, to Samyan Mitrtown, a new mixed-use complex project, located near the Sam Yan intersection, just 300m from MRT Sam Yan. The new cinema opened in 2019. It offes three screens with 200, 140 and 100 seats each, and screens ndependent films (not only) from around the world with Thai subtitles.
The Friese-Green Club
A private members' club, called The Friese-Green Club is dedicated to film enthousiasts, film makers, etc. It regularly screens classic and cult movies in its small theatre off Sukhumvit Soi 22. You can find schedules and location at their website : Friese-Green Club.
Tip for 'Seniors'
One can get many discount cards around Bangkok, mostly for supermarkets and department stores, that basically get you a 0.5% or at most 1 % discount on your shopping, when you accumulate 'points'. The best deal in town however (if you are above 60 years of age) is the SF Senior Card. You have to pay 100 baht to get the card. Thereafter you are entitled to get discounts for all movies shown at one of the many SF theatres. Prices will be between 90 to 130 baht instead of between 120 and 240 baht (or thereabouts).
What is showing is covered in leading English newspapers, but in a very bad way, and viewing times are often not quite available or readable.
Cinematic.Asia gives schedules in an easy to use format. It is also useful here that you can see whether the movies are in 'regular' theatres, or in more fashionable and expensive theatres.
The movie theatre schedules at Terminal 21 are listed and easy to find on their website.
Major Cineplex : Major Cineplex theatres in Bangkok and around Thailand. Includes Siam Paragon Cineplex. You can buy tickets online.
SF Cinema City (includes SFX Cinema Emporium, SFC Terminal 21, SF World Cinema, at Central World). You can book online.
If only utter luxury will done, check out showtimes at Embassy Diplomat Screens.