Six movie theaters in Seoul run by CGV and Lotte Cinema will feature Korean movies with subtitles in Chinese, Japanese and English twice a week starting Wednesday.
The Seoul metropolitan government said theaters in Guro in southern Seoul, home to a large population of ethnic Koreans from China, will feature Korean movies with Chinese subtitles, while theaters in the downtown shopping district of Myeong-dong which is popular among Japanese tourists will offer Japanese subtitles. Theaters in Yongsan, near the Itaewon bar and shopping district where Americans like to spend time, will offer English subtitles.
The move came because the size of the foreign population has grown to make it worthwhile. The Seoul metropolitan government chose CGV in Guro and Lotte Cinema in Cheongnyangni in northeastern Seoul for Chinese subtitles. Guro is home to 29,934 ethnic Korean Chinese and nearby Yeongdeungpo to 39,967. Cheongnyangni in the Dongdaemun district also has the largest population of Chinese other than ethnic Koreans in Seoul at 4,207.
Lotte Cinema in Myeong-dong and CGV in Cheongdam-dong are in shopping havens frequented by Japanese tourists, and CGV in Yongsan is close to Itaewon. Lotte Cinema near Hongik University was also selected for English subtitles due to the growing number of foreigners who visit the trendy entertainment district.
The subtitled films will be shown twice a week. The Lotte cinemas will feature them every Tuesday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m. The CGVs will offer subtitled movies at 7 p.m. on Thursdays and 5 p.m. on Sundays.
Fourteen Korean films will come subtitled.
The number of foreigners living in Seoul rose 9 percent from 255,207 in 2008 to 279,220 in 2011. Chinese accounted for 76 percent, Americans for 4 percent and Japanese for 3 percent.