Daehan Cinema to close its doors in September, 66 years after opening

People pass by Daehan Theater in Chungmuro, Seoul, which plans to close on Sept. 30 after 66 years since its opening as the largest cinema in South Korea in 1958. Yonhap

Daehan Cinema, once a prominent theater in downtown Seoul, will close its doors in September, marking the end of 66 years of operation.The theater said in a public notice that it would cease operations on Sept. 30.It cited “ongoing losses due to the changing paradigm of the film screening industry” and “asset optimization and business structure enhancement” as the reasons for ending operations.Daehan opened in 1958 as the largest cinema in Korea. Known for its large screen and impressive sound, it became one of Chungmuro’s iconic theaters alongside Myeongbo Cinema (now Myeongbo Art Cinema) and Scala Cinema.Daehan Cinema became hugely popular for screening 70mm films such as “Ben-Hur” (1959) and “The Sound of Music” (1969). With Daehan closing, Myeongbo Art Cinema will be the last of Chungmuro’s famed 20th-century theaters, as Scala Cinema shut down in 2005.

Daehan adapted to the era of multiplex theaters, reopening in 2001 with 11 screens. It also became a popular venue for media and distribution previews.However, by the mid-2000s, as the domestic theater market rapidly reorganized around the three major multiplex chains _ CGV, Lotte Cinema, and Megabox _ Daehan started to lose its luster.After the theater closes in September, the building is expected to be used as a performance venue.”We will remodel the Daehan Cinema building to host the world-famous immersive show ‘Sleep No More’ on a revenue-sharing basis,” it said. Immersive shows are 슬롯놀이터 interactive performances that do not have traditional audience seats.

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