meeting : “Cinema at the Bazaar:
The Saeng Tawan Cinema and the (possible) Future of Chiang Mai’s Night Bazaar”
15th October 2015.
talk by Philip Jablon
present, Chiang Mai is home to more than 30 movie screens; by far the
most ever in the city’s history. Despite the vast number of screens,
the selection of movies playing is perhaps the least diverse it has
ever been. All of these active screens, moreover, are located in one of
Chiang Mai’s 5 shopping malls.
The Saeng Tawan
Theater, located at the southern end of Chang Klan Road, is Chiang
Mai’s only remaining stand-alone movie theater. For the past 10 or more
years it has stood as a blighted southern bookend of upper Chang Klan
Road. While recent investments by a national level property developer
portend big changes to the area, there has been little discussion of
reactivating the Saeng Tawan as an arts center/movie theater.
presentation will look at the potential of a revived Saeng Tawan
Theater to help revitalize Chiang Mai’s “Night Bazaar” area. It will
examine other cases of dormant stand-alone movie theaters being revived
in cities around the world, and how such investments have stimulated
the growth of the local creative economy.
Chiang Mai is sorely in need of a world class film/performing arts theater, and with the Saeng Tawan, it has a
unique opportunity to develop one.
Philip Jablon is a Philadelphia-born researcher affiliated with Chiang Mai University. Since
he has combined his passions for smart urban development and film into
a multifaceted campaign to salvage some of Southeast Asia’s stand-alone
Through photo-journalism and advocacy he has played
a role in the resurrection of the Nang Loeng Cinema in Bangkok. He aims
to extend this model to other cities throughout ASEAN with his Movie
Theater Preservation Initiative, which is now in the network of the
Luang Prabang Fund for Culture and Conservation.
Want to read more?
(PDF File for downloading or reading on
line - 7 pages).