In the midst of a coronavirus epidemic, open-air cinema has established itself as the mode of entertainment adopted by South Koreans who want to change their minds without taking risks.
While the number of admissions to traditional South Korean cinemas has dropped in recent weeks, a drive-in cinema near Seoul has been very successful. Film buffs can watch a film there, installed in their car, parked in front of a giant outdoor screen.
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“We have seen an increase in sales of 10 to 20% and weekends we are sold out”, welcomes Park Dong-ju. “We really have more calls and inquiries on the internet since the coronavirus epidemic”, points out the owner.
“Open all year” can be read on its website when most cinemas around the world have been forced to temporarily close their doors and the country registers nearly 8,900 cases of Covid-19.
Choi Jin-young, a 22-year-old employee who works in a hospital, says she waited two hours before she could buy tickets. “I wanted to enjoy cultural life with my boyfriend but since cinemas are a risk and it is worrying to go there, I came here”, she explains. Park Ji-seung, 24, says stepping out due to new coronavirus epidemic but feels “safe” in this drive-in.
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun has asked that churches, gymnasiums and places of entertainment be closed for 15 days. He invited the population to opt for telework and to avoid all outings. Dozens of events (K-pop music concerts, matches …) have been canceled or postponed.