CityNews – Vista Cinema is shutting down this August.
Kad Suan Kaew announced on its Facebook page today (August 8th) that its in-house cinema, Vista is closing. The last show day is set to be on August 20th. Vista Cinema is the oldest theatre in town and is the only alternative brand, which has been struggling to compete with giants like Major Cineplex and SF Cinema.
Vista Cinema was founded by Tawatchai Rochanachotikun, a business man who has since shifted his career to a producer. In 1991 he opened his first branch of Vista cinema on Chareon Muang Road (near the railway station). Two years later, his business branched out to Kad Suan Kaew as Chiang Mai’s first in-house mall movie theatre. By 1996 Vista had taken over all other cinemas in Chiang Mai, merging them under one brand.
Tawatchai told The People that during his glory days, there had been endless request for Vista to branch out to other provinces, Phayao, Phrae, Nan, Chiang Rai etc. but but they decided not to expand at that time. Vista has housed classic blockbuster films such as Jurassic Park and Titanic, when the whole cinema at Huay Kaew was booked by HM Queen Sirikit. Vista also screened alternative films and it is the first host of the European Film Festival in Chiang Mai.
After being the only player in Chiang Mai for a decade, the first Major Cineplex at Central Plaza Chiang Mai Airport opened in 2001. By the end of 2007 all branches were closed except Kad Suan Kaew while mainstream cinemas are thriving in Chiang Mai.
Kad Suan Kaew announced that Vista will be replaced by Major Cineplex which is planned to open by the end of this year.