Southeast Asia Movie Theater Project

The Southeast Asia Movie Theater Project is an initiative by Phil Jablon to document the architecture and atmostphere of stand-alone movie theaters throughout Southeast Asia. Through photography, observation, research and interviews, he has built a visual archive of the architecture, spatial typology and cultural life that the stand-alone theaters embody.

He has conducted fieldwork in more than half of Thailand’s provinces, most of Laos and more than a dozen cities in Myanmar.  For the next phase, he will take the project into Cambodia to document what remains of its once-vibrant movie-going culture. Click to help fund him through Kickstarter.

The rapid economic development currently being experienced in Cambodia is causing a perceived redevelopment imperative. As such, many older buildings considered out-of-date or outmoded are in danger of being demolished, and stand-alone movie theaters are high on that list.
The goal of this project is to document, in detail, each of Cambodia’s stand-alone movie theaters while they are still standing. The time to start is immediate.

Pansodan Books will be publishing a book of Phil Jablon’s work on Burmese cinemas… and maybe on the Cambodian ones too, if this project can get going. Only one week left to fund this interesting research on a popular art and its rôle in Southeast Asian towns.

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