Philip Jablon’s ‘Thailand’s Movie Theatres: Relics, Ruins and The Romance of Escape’ showcases an American photographer’s decade-long quest to document the unique buildings in the country.
The course of Philip Jablon’s life was altered forever when he stumbled upon a rundown movie theater in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai back in 2006. Although the American didn’t know it at the time. Intrigued by the kooky-looking complex — and slightly bored by the usual multiplex cinema-going experience — Jablon suggest to friends they should revisit and take in a film. But by the time they’d organized themselves the building had been torn down for redevelopment.
And that’s when Jablon took to thinking. What if there were more of these unique structures out there across Thailand?
“That what the watershed moment for me,” says Jablon. “I decided I would go from town to town. I would explore the corners of the old parts of town and look for these old buildings and take photos. Sometimes I’d find them, sometimes I wouldn’t. Sometimes I would find ones that were intact, and looked exactly like they always had.”