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Major multiplex operators to reopen cinemas

Myeong-dong branch of CGV has been closed since March 28 due to the spread of the coronavirus. (Yonhap)
Myeong-dong branch of CGV has been closed since March 28 due to the spread of the coronavirus. (Yonhap)

Cinemas that were closed due to the spread of COVID-19 will resume operations this week, with CGV announcing Friday that it is to reopen 36 cinemas.

“We decided to resume business and revitalize the movie industry and local market in order to overcome the difficult times caused by COVID-19,” said CGV.

The 36 cinemas set to reopen Wednesday include the Myeongdong and Daehangno branches in Seoul as well as eight cinemas in Daegu and the Gyeongsang provinces.

Additional CGV cinemas individually announced they would reopen after CGV’s Friday announcement, with plans to do so either Wednesday or Friday.

CGV previously announced a temporary shutdown of 33 cinemas starting March 28, with additional theaters closing as the COVID-19 crisis worsened. Some cinemas, including Chuncheon Myeongdong CGV, could not survive the hit and decided to shut down for good.

Other multiplex operators are slowly reopening as well.

Lotte Cinema, which had closed down all its cinemas in Daegu and the Gyeongsang provinces, reopened its Sangju cinema in North Gyeongsang Province on Wednesday and its Daegu Hyeonpung cinema on Thursday.

Megabox, which announced March 26 that it was closing down 11 cinemas in Daegu and the Gyeongsang provinces until April 30, is expected to reopen those theaters May 1.

“The details have not been fixed yet. Megabox will discuss the matter this week,” said a Megabox representative.

The movie industry has been hit hard by COVID-19, as the number of moviegoers plummeted to 1.83 million in March, the all-time low for the month since records began.

Multiplex operators have been rereleasing movies such as “La La Land” and “The Avengers” as new releases have been delayed. However, there are plans for new releases such as “Kingdom,” “My Spy,” “Trolls World Tour” and “Hotel Lake” before the start of the long weekend this Thursday.

By Lim Jang-won (ljw@heraldcorp.com)
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