News & Updates
26.12.19 Film Location Business Interview: Rabieng Rimnam, Petchaburi
On 26 Dec 2019, the PI visited Rabieng Rimnam restaurant in Petchaburi province. The site has been an important place for fans of First Love/Sing lek lek thi riak wa... rak (2010). Since the film was released the venue has attracted a series of tourists. The first waves were visitors from Bangkok and Chiang Mai. In the last 6 years, there have been continuous visitors/fans from mainland China, Taiwan, the Phillipines and Indonesia. The pan Asian visitors help boost the income for the family run restaurant which faced the downturn of Western tourists to the town.
The now 33 going 34 year old restaurant is still going strong with the second generation helping to run the business. The environmentalist and pottery loving co-founder of the restaurant and guest house has kept a couple of fan guest/scrapbooks with photos/drawing and notes from fans talking about the films. These self-reflextive story-telling by fans reaffirm our focus on film fan tourism/cinephile pilgrimage as a meaningful activity for self.
The characters and the warm hospitality of the owners are very memorable. During our chat, the owner also selected film soundtracks to coincide with our conversations on Pan-Asian cinema, a charming activity which he regularly offers to guests. With film fans, the second generation is adding online presence and hoping to continue to add value to film fans.
Apart from the restaurant, on the same street there is a fan-run show room of Mitr Chaibancha's memorabilia. The super popular 1960s Thai film star was born in Phetchaburi. The owner had followed the star as long as he can remember. He told me of the accident in Phetchaburi during a film project that caused the star a dent on his front tooth, gave me a list of the 60s films shot in town that he knew of and/or went to see the shoot, and had me guessing what Mitr's autograph looks like. Of course it is a helicopter!
There are several more sites including Tham Khao Luang Cave featured in Bangkok Dangerous (2008) and the old market area used for Fan Chan (2003), both of which drew fan visits over the years. What has been quite interesting is the initiative to create old town walking streets with signs telling family/shop history. Combined with cute cat graffitis, this river-side market is lovely for a local culture kind of walk - just have to watch out for cars and motorbikes (and for a horde of monkeys outside the cave).