Despite their dancers living in desperate straits, the owners of Pattaya’s Alcazar Cabaret are in no rush to reopen.
Pawin Petchtrakul, an executive with one of Pattaya’s leading ladyboy shows, said that even if the theater is allowed to resume shows Oct. 1, the curtain will not be going up. The reason? There simply won’t be enough foreign tourists to make it profitable.
Closed since last year’s first coronavirus shutdown, the transgender cabaret show, along with its main rival, the Tiffany Show, lack appeal to most Thais, as there are plenty of campy ladyboy antics in Thai-language television shows and movies, Pawin said.
While the Tiffany Show ended its 2020 run in March, Alcazar’s owners tried to make a go of it. But with low attendance, they cut performances to just weekends. Even that wasn’t enough so in December the theater closed, not to reopen until after foreign tourism recovers.
While Pattaya is on schedule to welcome fully vaccinated foreign tourists next month, Pawin, 42, thinks not many will be coming to Pattaya, where daily Covid-19 cases remain above 100 a day and restrictions likely will continue to be enforced.
Pawin said the company has been providing some support for 400 employees. Staff also have been working on new shows and even practicing routines. Meanwhile, former employees hoping to return are being vaccinated against Covid-19.
It’s uncertain when the theater can reopen, he said, when audiences must be socially distanced, wear facemasks and possibly must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
He said that when Alcazar does reopen, capacity likely will be cut in half to 500 patrons.