Culture Movies

Cinemas in Bangkok With First Class

If you’re tired of watching movies in economy, know that there are a few movie theaters in Bangkok that offer moviegoers a first class, Cannes Film Festival experience.

Photo: Fortune

There is no shortage of cinemas in Bangkok to be sure, but most are so commonplace and scattered with leftovers once edible that it’s no glam, bling, bling à la Cannes Film Festival. Thus, for those weary of economy and its undesirable repercussions, and seek an upgrade in their overall entertainment experience, on the level whence personages in haute couture on red carpets staring sultrily at the cameras experience, then the following screening venues warrant a visitation.

Enigma, Siam Paragon

One of the biggest movie watching establishments in Bangkok is Paragon Cineplex; located within the gleaming and gargantuan mall in the heart of town, Siam Paragon. There are a dozen normal theaters available for the peasantry, not to mention an IMAX; perfect for monumental movies like Star Wars, or any film featuring French actress, Eva Green, because she’s amazing. But when the aristocracy fancies a visual stimulus, they meander over towards the reception desk for Enigma. A paragon of its class, Enigma has remained the most expensive and fanciest screening room in the country. Simply put, it is the Versailles of cinemas. And as is to be expected from such grandness, before the time of showing, the servile staff will invite you into the exclusive parlor, wherein fine dining appetizers and sweets worthy of belonging in the display cases of any one of the three luxury dessert salons in Siam Paragon await your digestion. Seats in Enigma are less armchair and more sofa bed; whereon one can recline in languorous fashion like the legendary Madame de Pompadour did for her vainglorious portrait by François Boucher. Periodically, the obliging staff will come by to refill glasses, and restock your elegant dish of gourmet popcorn.

Bangkok Airways Blue Ribbon Screen, Siam Paragon

Also attached to Paragon Cineplex is Bangkok Airways Blue Ribbon Screen; similar to its enigmatic neighbor, but more business class. As the title implies, this is a sponsored venue, by the most exclusive boutique airline in Thailand, Bangkok Airways. There are three modest-size theaters attached to its name. The pricey ticket includes access to the lounge, where one may drink cocktails, use the Nespresso machine, fill their stomachs with premium snacks and cakes of pâtisserie grade, or get a foot massage at the on-site spa. That’s right, a spa! Vogue Thailand would approve. But of course, the primary attraction at Blue Ribbon is the chair wherein you will be planted for the next two hours; trust a leading airline to design the comfiest armchairs for sedentary purposes with maximum privacy; no risks of awkward encounters here.

Embassy Diplomat Screens, Central Embassy

Situated on the sixth floor of the ultra-designer shopping mall, Central Embassy, is the luxurious Embassy Diplomat Screens. It is the only cinema in Thailand that can call itself a first class only establishment. Its reputation is made more distinguished by its installation of the most expensive cinematic contrivances and audio systems available; thus guaranteeing a sharp, crisp, and surround sound spectacle. Before the movie starts, rest in the gilded lounge and bar area, where wine, Champagne, and tidbits are served for your imbibing and nibbling pleasures. Each screening room has only thirty places: cocoon-shaped first class seats, the likes of which are seen in leading airplanes, but instead of standard canvas, these are upholstered in plush khaki leather. Naturally, they are reclinable, and a duvet and pillow are included. To crown all, the seats come with an adjustable reading light, a call button for butler service, a bag hanger (for your Chanel), and an electrical outlet to charge your phone. During the movie, a slew of moreish beverages, savory snacks, and sugared dainties can be ordered and partaken at your leisure.

Emprivé Cineclub, Emporium

Emporium is the shopping mall where the rich go to on days when Siam Paragon is crawling with too many commoners. On the top floor of this institution is Emprivé Cineclub; the sort of venue where wearing Dior shoes and toting Birkins is the average. There is a line of check-in counters more inviting than those at airports, and tickets that take on the appearance of expensive boarding passes. The décor inside the first class lounge is best described as a furniture store by Louis Vuitton. Sprawled luxuriously on the central tables are canapés and petit fours for the patrons to snack with Dionysian gusto. In the cinema, first class seats look as if they were lifted from a private jet belonging to a significant person in Dubai. Popcorn is served in a glazed black bowl; and the recommended flavor is of course classic buttered popcorn, because it’s butter, which is delicious, and not bad for health (somewhat). Drinks include fine wine and sparkling water. So saying, it should not come as a surprise therefore, that some individuals might visit Emprivé Cineclub with the intention to Instagram their visit first, and to see the movie second.

Thus concludes the selected recommendations of the grandest of grand cinematic venues in Bangkok, wherein voluptuaries may find a Cannes-like screening experience full of pizzazz and to their liking.

By Boripat Lebel

Boripat Lebel is a research coordinator at the Unit for Social and Environmental Research at Chiang Mai University. He authored the eBook “A Vomit of Diamonds.” Boripat can also be found on LinkedIn .