Sunday, December 16, 2007

Running Down a Dream (Cinema)

My ever-so-cool colleague Chun Sujin just wrote a feature about the end of Dream Cinema, the last non-multiplex theater in Seoul. Dream Cinema is an ugly concrete box, with fading paint, broken seats and a dubious sound system (at the best of times). But when it was opened in 1964, it was one of the fancier cinemas in the city, like the Daehan or Picadilly.

Very much worth a read, especially since I can still remember a time before there were any multiplexes in Korea. Amazing how fast things change.

Writing this makes me remember the last time I went to the Dream Cinema to watch a film. It was the first Korean press screening for LORD OF THE RINGS: FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING. The sound system was in worse shape than usual that day, and about 20 minutes into the film the sound went out entirely. I had to wait another couple of days until the next press screening to see the movie. As I was dying to see FELLOWSHIP (geek that I am), I was pretty bitter about that.

And if you want to check out the Dream Cinema, it will stay open until January or so. To commemorate the theater and its closing, the manager booked DIRTY DANCING, which has turned into something of a surprise hit (and tickets are just half-price, compared to other theaters).

Dream Cinema is located in Seodaemun, right by the Seodaemun Subway Station on line No. 5.

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