The film industry called for government support, saying it has been severely damaged by Covid-19.
A press conference was held at Megabox Dongdaemun in Seoul on the morning of the 12th to appeal for government support from the theater industry hosted by the Korea Theater Association. Lee Chang-moo, chairman of the Korea Theater Association, Choi Nak-yong, CEO of CGV Chilgok Branch, Kim Joo-hee, CEO of Lotte Cinema Chuncheon Branch, Han Ki-dong, CEO of CGV Domestic Business Headquarters, Oh Hee-sung, CEO of Megabox Multiflex, Park Min-yong.
The film industry was hit directly by Covid-19. Last year, the total number of moviegoers fell 84 percent year-on-year, the lowest level since 2004 when the electricity grid was in operation. As the market, which accounts for most of the film business’ sales, is devastated, the aftermath is leading to the entire Korean film industry. Since the spread of Covid-19, theaters have been taking quarantine measures such as sitting in the space and limiting operating hours. In order to overcome the crisis, the company continued to take self-rescue measures by taking unpaid leave, reducing operating hours, shutting down some branches, and closing some stores. However, it is having a hard time due to the prolonged Covid-19.
“So far, there have been no secondary cases of infection through theaters,” said film officials. In the meantime, the theater has put a lot of effort into quarantine. Even in such a situation, the number of viewers has decreased, and the theater is becoming difficult to withstand,” he said, urging the government to support.
“The film industry is a competitive cultural industry that can lead the world, but it has been thoroughly alienated from various disaster support after COVID-19.” said Lee Chang-moo, chairman of the Korea Screening Association. The theater has always been excluded from support, despite complying with strict quarantine rules in accordance with government guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“The theater industry is one of the most damaged industries in all industries. Nevertheless, the government’s support measures are quite limited and temporary. In particular, the funds used to support the film industry were appropriated by the film development fund, which was raised by 3% of movie ticket prices, and although it is naturally used to save the movie industry, the government imposes restrictions on difficult conditions.
Choi Nak-yong, CEO of the Korea Arts Theater Association, said, “Most independent art theaters in Anheung-myeon will be closed for a year or two without a change in cinema policy over the past 20 years.”
In fact, multiplex consignees owned by individuals also joined. “As theater operators are thoroughly excluded from support because they are large companies, consignment owners, who account for more than 37% of multiplex theaters, are now on the brink of death,” said Lim Heon-jung, CEO of CGV Chilgok. “We should come up with government support measures for all theaters. Recognizing the seriousness of the current situation, the government should return the film development fund that has been paid in the film industry over the past three years or open it to low-interest loans, he said.
CEO Lim Hun-jung said the company is operating nine branches, explaining that sales have fallen from 28 billion won to 8 billion won since Corona.
“In fact, the movie theaters have suffered a huge deficit, and it is difficult to make a bet now,” he said, adding that he has received 5 billion won in loans alone.
As a solution, the film industry asked the government for practical and bold measures such as ▲ opening subsidies to encourage distributors to open movies and discount tickets to expand cultural life ▲ 2021 ▲ financial support to affected theaters ▲ easing food intake.
In an appeal, the film industry said, “If Korean films such as ‘Parasite’ and ‘Minari’ continue to do well on the international stage, we cannot expect a second parasite, a second Bong Joon-ho and a second Yoon Yo-jung.” “We hope that the government will support the survival of the film industry as a practical and concrete protection measure that has gathered opinions from the industry to overcome COVID-19 and consider the film industry as a key industry in the long run and come up with a bold budget.
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