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Sala Chaleum Krung (ศาลาเฉลิมกรุง)

Thai. Pavilion to Celebrate the City. Name of the Royal Theatre in Bangkok. It is located on Charoen Krung Road and was opened on 3 July 1933, originally as a movie theatre yet today it hosts performances of Khon, i.e. classical Thai dance (fig.). The epithet Royal Theatre derives from the fact that its construction was financed by King Prajadhipok (fig.), an ardent film pioneer and enthusiast (fig.), as part of the 1932 celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the Chakri Dynasty and the founding of Krung Rattanakosin in 1782. Built in Modernist style and at a cost of 9 million baht, the theatre was equipped with the latest sound and lighting systems, and modern air-conditioning, then still a rather new feature in the country, while the neon lights on top of the facade, that display the theatre's name in Thai, allegedly were the largest in Asia at the time. Whereas previously, these style of buildings were usually designed and built by European architects, for this project the King assigned a Thai architect with the royal title of momchao. The property is today managed by the Crown Property Bureau. Often transliterated Sala Chalermkrung. See MAP.