Bangkok just got a new movie house that, with revamped interiors, affordable eats and low-cost tickets, is a hangout meant for movie geeks and average cinemagoers alike.
Carrying on a former tenant’s mission to screen films outside the mainstream, Doc Club & Pub opened this week for a sneak peek at its space, which aims to not only show great films but also be a hangout where cinephiles can meet over coffee or booze.
While cinemas in Bangkok are not yet allowed to reopen due to the health crisis, the venue aims to reach a broader audience with tickets that run as low as THB150. Venue members will get a further 10% discount.
Despite the name, the movies won’t be limited to documentary films (Documentary Club is the cinephile group now running the theater). Expect cinematic greats like Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire, queer classic Farewell My Concubine and South Korean psychological thriller Burning, which won overwhelming acclaim from Bangkok cinephiles when it showed in 2018.
According to one of the space’s owners, Suparp Rimthepathip, Doc Club & Pub will go beyond being an independent theater by hosting movie-related events and panel discussions its community has come to expect at its screenings, which have often been held at SF CentralWorld or the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre.
Being the new tenant on the second floor of the Sala Daeng-adjacent Woof Pack Building, Documentary Club only made minimal renovations to the space that had been the Bangkok Screening Room. A curved bookshelf was attached to the theater entrance while two small refrigerators were added near the box office to hold craft beer cans and bottles. A 77-inch TV screen was installed next to its balcony.
More natural lighting is noticeable in the cafe area as a wall was opened up with windows. Items from Suparp’s personal cinema collection, including movie handbills and framed posters of films such as Steve Buscemi’s Tree Lounge and Burning are all over the place
While Bangkok Screening Room had 52 seats, Doc Club & Pub removed two and placed more side tables. The former’s advanced silver screen remains in place to show movies in 4K.
Spanning over five menu pages are budget-friendly drinks, snacks and pastries: an Iced Coconut Americano is THB65, Coffee with Tonic is THB65, Pour Over Coffee is THB75. Flavorful bar snacks like edamame are THB65, deep-fried potato chips are THB100 and a set of mango chutney and biscuits is THB100.
When alcohol is allowed to be served on-site, they will also serve craft beers, spirits and wines.
Doc Club & Pub is on the second floor of the Woof Pack Building on Soi Sala Daeng 1. For its “soft opening” now through Sept. 14, it opens its doors three times a day at noon, 2:30pm and 5:30pm to show off the space to those who book via chat. Each slot is limited to 12 people.
This article, Preview ‘Doc Club & Pub,’ Bangkok’s new cinematic lease on life (Photos), originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company.