South Korean theaters transform into forest, living room and bedroom to attract filmgoers
Hakyung Kate Lee/ABC News(SEOUL, South Korea) — Beneath the starry ceiling, there lies a green grass hill with cozy bean bags. The sounds of bird chirping welcome Marvel fans who come to watch the long-awaited “Avengers: Endgame” at Cine & Foret, one of many special movie theaters emerging in South Korea.
As part of its efforts to lure home movie watchers and mobile users out to the big screens, South Korea’s largest movie theater chain, CGV, has come up with creative ways to offer moviegoers a unique cinematic experience.
Cine & Foret, a CGV theater, is forest-themed, complete with moss-covered walls in the shape of trees to create an ideal atmosphere for an indoor picnic. Sitting in bean bags or cabana seats, the audience can enjoy an aroma and oxygen level set to match those of the actual forest.
Another special themed CGV cinema, Cine & Living Room, opened on April 30. The conventional rows of seats transformed into 10 different living room sections, each with unique color design, leather sofas and props. Filmgoers can also enjoy afternoon tea sets with music and magazines — just like at home.
What’s more, as a way to appeal to millennials and generation Z, the zone allows free use of mobile phones during movies thanks to a brighter screen and lighting system than in an average cinema.
South Korean audiences choose “comfort” as one of the key factors in their movie-going experience, according to a survey conducted by CGV Research Center.
CGV’s Tempur Cinema aims to satisfy this need as the world’s first theater with reclining beds. Unlike bed cinemas in other parts of the world, these reclining beds, in collaboration with Tempur Sealy International, allow adjustment of angles for head, upper body and legs.
“I loved how comfortable the seats were. The seating is great for moviegoers who come with their parent or partner,” said Shyla Park, who studies Russian Language at Kyung Hee University. “It’s quite pricey, but I’d like to come here again for formal occasions or when I want to spoil myself.”
To maximize the audience’s comfort level, the cinema also provides a butler service, where people can order drinks and gourmet popcorn anytime using a call button.
“I liked how we could order snacks during screenings since I didn’t have to wait in line for popcorn at the lobby,” Jang Haerim, a college student who watches at least one movie every week, told ABC News. “I also enjoyed the food at Cine de Chef and its private atmosphere.”
CGV’s Cine de Chef provides luxurious full-course meals, signature patisserie and movie-themed cocktail are just few options for those who get hungry at the theater. While waiting for a film to start, in the lobby, moviegoers can watch interactive VR projects, play arcade games and even sing their hearts out at a free karaoke.
These multiplex theaters hope that unique themes, high-tech recreational activities and gourmet food will be enough to get people out of their homes to go see a movie.
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