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In the 1970s Vientiane boasted 16 cinemas. They showed mostly Thai and Chinese films. With the communist takeover in 1975 they were constricted to show only "revolutionary" films from the Soviet Union or Vietnam. That, coupled with the rise of cheap home entertainment systems in the 80s and 90s, led to the undoing of all of them. Only parts of derelict buildings remain, like the corrugated facade of the old Vien Samay Cinema in the heart of downtown. Ironically there's now a shop right next to the theatre which houses a very good collection of pirated DVDs that sell for about $1 each. Cinema