Friday, May 4, 2012

Movie Theaters in Korea

While sitting in the theater today watching The Avengers (awesome move I might add), I realized I should blog about movie theaters in Korea. Theaters in Korea aren’t too different from theaters in America, but there are a few things to note. First, I believe there are 3 big players when it comes to theater chains: CGV, Megabox, and Lotte Cinemas. The websites for these theater chains are the following:,, and If your Korean isn’t that great, here’s a link to a site I recently found for movie times in English: You can also order tickets from this site online, but I’ve never tried that. Here in Yeongtong in Suwon, we have two theaters: the Yeongtong Kinex and a Megabox. The Kinex is above KFC and plays only Korean movies, I think – at least I haven’t ever seen English movies playing there. Megabox is located in the Grand Mart building (box office is on the 5th floor), which is across from Homeplus. There are many other theaters in Suwon, too: a CGV in Ingyedong, a CGV in Suwon Station, a CGV in BukSuwon, and another Megabox by the Suwon Bus Terminal are the few others that I know. I know for sure that the Megabox in Yeongtong and the CGV in Ingyedong have 3D screens. For IMAX, I think there are 2 or 3 total IMAX theaters in Korea: one of them is the CGV in the I’Park Mall (6th floor) in Yongsan Station in Seoul. This theater also has 4D screens.

Alrighty, how are theaters in Korea different from the US? Well, seating and ticketing is more interesting. When you first go into the theater’s box office area you’ll notice the employees behind a counter with digital number displays above their heads and screens cycling through the movies that are playing above and behind them. These screens will tell you the movie times and the number of seats remaining for each movie. It’s also important to pay attention to which ones are playing to make sure you’re not going to get a ticket to a Korean-dubbed movie (more on that in a bit). Somewhere near the counter there will be a number machine like in the banks. You go take a number and wait for it to flash up on the display above an employee. You have to be quick and be ready to hop up there or else they’ll go on to the next person. Just simply tell them the movie you want to see and the number of tickets. Tickets typically cost between 7000 and 9000 won for a regular 2D film. Now, here’s where it gets really different from the US: you get to pick your seats. The employee will swing the monitor around (or there will be a display in the counter you can look at) and you tell them which seats you want. Pretty convenient. No scrambling into the theater early to make sure you get a good seat. The funny thing is that despite picking your seats, I’ve seen Koreans try to sit in other seats and made to move when the actual seatholders show up. I mean, come on…you picked your seats. You know those other ones aren’t available. WTF? Oh, you find your seat by looking near the ground usually – there will be row letters and seat numbers displayed.

So, that’s tickets, but what about snacky snacks? Pretty much the same as in the US. Snack bars in Korea are called “Sweet Box,” though instead. Some theaters have them on multiple floors, but there will for sure be one by the ticket counter. Prices aren’t too terribly bad from what I can really remember for snacks. We have the typical butter popcorn, hotdogs, pretzels, and nachos here. We also have a sweet popcorn, potato wedges, and dried squid (ew). For drinks, you can get sodas, tea, water, and some places have beer. I don’t think I’ve ever seen candy bars or other candies available, though.

We get most all of the major Hollywood films here in Korea in theaters, so it’s not too hard to keep up with them. Occasionally they will dub them, but they typically just add Korean subtitles. The one type of movie you have to really watch for is animated films. These can be hit and miss with the dubbing. They’ll often dub them in Korean, but also have a screen showing it in the original English, too. You’ll have to be careful to make sure it’s in the right language when you get your ticket.

Well, I think that about covers it for theaters in Korea for now. Happy movie hunting!


  1. This for a great post. I'm planning to go to korea next month and thinking of watching some movies when I got there.