This month on a visit to Vietnam for pleasure and work I had the opportunity to visit the Reunification Palace, or Independence Palace as it is also known, in Saigon.
Independence Palace (Dinh Độc Lập), also known as Reunification Palace (Vietnamese: Dinh Thống Nhất) is built on the site of the former Norodom Palace in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. It was designed by architect Ngô Viết Thụ and was the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It was here that heralded the end of the Vietnam War whilst during the Fall of Saigon - 30 April 1975 a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through its gates.
Once a seat of opulence and hosting some of the worlds top dignitaries the Palace featured an extravagant (for the time and location) home theatre which could fit nearly 40 people in it's plush velvet chairs. The room is pure 70's retro, padded leather doors, red velvet and cold war era panelling finish off the room.
The cinema screen was fed by twin projectors, preserved in museum like care and what must have been at the time a very sophisticated cinema sound system and including a very retro record player from the 1970's.
I can only imagine the stories that this room could tell, For the period it must have been very impressive and it had to be, the South Vietnamese and the United States were waging a war against communism and the palace was held up as a sign of how good things were under their regime and hosted visitors from around the world.