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S. Korea's first Chinese film theater opens in Seoul

All Headlines 18:00 April 01, 2016

SEOUL, April 1 (Yonhap) -- South Koreans now have a theater where people can see old and new Chinese films all the time.

The theater opened Friday in a ceremony attended by officials from the Jongno Ward Office in Seoul and the Chinese Cultural Center in South Korea.

The two organizations jointly run the Chinese films-only theater located in the capital city's main theater and art neighborhood of Daehangno.

They allocated one of the three screening rooms in the Dongyang Arts Center, a multipurpose cultural performance hall, to showing Chinese films to provide Koreans easy access to the movies. The room has 220 seats. The authority will later decide whether to add a smaller 162-seat room depending on demand.

After the ceremony, the theater screened "Red Sorghum," Zhang Yimou's film that won the Golden Bear at Berlin Film Festival in 1988 and stars Gong Li, as the opening film free of charge. "Meet Miss Anxiety," a 2014 Chinese film directed by South Korea's Kwak Jae-yong, was also shown earlier in the day for free.

Among other Chinese films ready to be shown are "The Phantom Lover" (1994), "Monster Hunt" (2015) and "Mermaid" (2016).

More than two films a month will be offered for free on weekdays and Mondays when the theater is closed while latest films will be 5,000 to 6,000 won (US$4.35-5.20) to see.

The ward office said the new facility will provide a chance to help enhance the Korean people's understanding of the Chinese culture.

"About 600 to 800 Chinese films are produced a year, but Koreans rarely have a chance to see them," said an official from the Dongyang Arts Center. "We expect this place will serve to ease Koreans' thirst for the Chinese culture at a time when the need for getting along with China is ever growing."

Last month, the municipal government signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese Cultural Center in South Korea and the Dongyang Arts Center to run exclusively screen Chinese films. The cultural center will assist in the supply and translation of the Chinese films into Korean.

Besides this, the theater will also host various lectures, cultural performances and other events on Chinese culture, the government said.


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