Seoul's last old-style, one-screen cinema shuts down

Theatre operator shaves her head in grief

Seoul's last old-style, one-screen cinema has played its final movie before it's knocked down and replaced by a hotel.

The screening on Wednesday of the Italian classic "The Bicycle Thief" was so emotional for the theatre operator that she publicly shaved her head in frustration.

The theatre opened in 1964 and has become a place where mostly elderly moviegoers gather regularly to watch classic Hollywood and South Korean films and indulge in nostalgia for cinematic days gone by.

As huge multiplexes made it hard to compete financially, the Seodaemun Art Hall played up the one thing the newer theaters could never match — its age.

But its struggle to survive in ultramodern Seoul ended on Wednesday. It's expected to be knocked down as early as August.


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