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The Colosseum opens, sans gladiators and lions

On Sunday 21 July the much-anticipated Colosseum officially opened its doors in Pattaya. Billed as the largest transvestite cabaret show in Asia, the Thepprasit Road location was packed for its opening night. The theatre has seating for 1,250 people but for the first night there were also people standing in the aisles.

The 400 million baht theater is on 16 rai of land and, as the name might suggest, is modelled after the famous Colosseum in Rome. The original, which opened in 80CE, was often the scene of gladiatorial contests featuring, at times, literally thousands of men armed with swords and other weapons and nervous animals. This Pattaya version is not expected to resort to using armed men in loin-cloths and the odd stray bovine creature or reluctant buffalo to spice up its entertainment. The transvestites should be enough.

Manager Aphinant Bunyaung has said the Colosseum will run 14 75-minute performances daily with spectacular lighting, sound and special effects. The on-site parking lot accommodates 450 cars.

The attraction is disabled friendly with wheelchair access via lifts, ramps and even escalators. The initial target audience will be Thais but of course tour operators who have foreign visitors will also be welcomed.