Cinema in Bangkok: An Experience Like No Other
It might not strike you as top of your to-do list in Thailand but Bangkok’s VIP cinemas are an experience not to be missed.
With everything from waiter service to sofa-beds instead of seats, this is your chance to act like royalty whilst checking out the latest blockbusters – often for a cheaper priced ticket than you’d find at home!
Here we give you the lowdown on what’s so great about the VIP cinema experience.
What is VIP cinema?
In Bangkok, there are two different types of VIP cinema. The first is simply an upgrade in a regular cinema to a VIP ticket, which gives you access to a special area normally at the back or on a balcony that has better seating.
The second type of VIP ticket is where it gets really special, giving you – like a child clutching a golden ticket outside the gates of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory – admission to an impressively magical auditorium.
These usually only have around 30 seats and are distinctly luxury and bespoke in their benefits.
The second you purchase your VIP cinema ticket, your experience of being treated like royalty will begin.
Each cinema’s benefits will differ slightly (more on this later) but you can rest assured that they’re all as luxurious as each other.
Firstly, you’ll be shown to a private lounge where, much like the First Class lounge in an airport (I can only imagine), you’ll be far away from the usual riff-raff of giggling teenagers and noisy eaters.
Instead, you’ll be treated to all manner of food and drinks that are all included in the price of your ticket.
As the start of the film draws nearer, you’ll be shown to your seat by helpful attendants who will proceed to wait on you hand and foot throughout the performance, bringing anything you order right to your seat.
What are the seats like?
The seats themselves are always something of a marvel and, although they can differ in style at each cinema, they’ll never compromise on comfort!
At the very least they’ll be huge and reclining, complete with footrests and complimentary pillows and blankets.
Some will have seating made up of a collection of sofas, allowing you to share your experience with a special someone, with others comprising of everything from aeroplane seats to beanbags.
At the very top of the scale, some theatres even offer the ultimate in a comfortable cinema experience: your very own bed. Just remember not to fall asleep and miss the film!
How much is it?
Like most Western cinemas, the ticket prices can vary depending on the time of day you decide to go.
What’s more, the very latest blockbuster releases will often be priced higher than a standard romantic comedy.
Don’t despair though, remember this is Bangkok and that prices are unparalleled in comparison to the price of the cinema in the UK or the US.
Tickets will start around 300 baht (£6/$10.45), going all the way up to 3,000 baht for two tickets to the the height of luxury.
Where are these places?
Nokia Ultra Screen – The Perfect All-Rounder
Made up of three theatres all will motorized reclining seats, the Nokia Ultra Screen is the perfect way to try out the VIP cinema experience.
With 72 seats in one theatre and 30 seats in the other two, it’s definitely a luxurious atmosphere.
Tickets include a snack and drink in the VIP lounge, and more importantly (or weirdly), a complimentary foot massage.
5th floor of Paragon Cineplex, Bangkok 10330 Price: 700-800 baht
Enigma – The Elite of the Elite
For those that really want to go all out on their VIP experience, Enigma is the most expensive and the fanciest cinema in the whole of Bangkok.
The cinema is shrouded in mystery and exclusivity, with rumours that it’s 50,000 baht to join as a member.
Complimentary cocktails and impressive appetizers will be brought to you as you recline in one of the 34 sofa-beds.
6th floor of Paragon Cineplex, Bangkok 10330 Price: 3,000 baht for two persons
World Happiness Screen – The Family Experience
One for the families among you (or the young at heart!), the World Happiness Screen has an array of seating options from ‘day beds’ to beanbags.
The cinema generally caters to a more child-friendly audience in terms of the films it shows and this is definitely reflected in the colourful and lively décor. It’s a great choice for a whimsical day out like no other!
9th floor of CentralWorld, Bangkok 10330 Price: 700 baht
Hopefully by now, you’re feeling inspired to do something a little off the usual tourist-in-Thailand path and check out one of the city’s VIP cinemas.
If you’re tempted to fly your way into the lap of luxury, Expedia has great deals on flights to Bangkok this summer.
One final thing to remember for when you visit any cinema in Thailand is that before the start of the film, the King’s Royal Anthem will be played and absolutely everyone is expected to stand up – there’s a risk of a fine if you don’t!