English Subtitles Available At Korea’s Theaters

By Kwon Mee-yoo
Staff Reporter

Foreign nationals in Seoul will be able to enjoy Korean movies more easily from March, as two designated theaters will screen local films with English subtitles.

The Seoul Metropolitan government has decided to select two theaters among applicants for the provision of English subtitles for newly released Korean movies. The idea came from the proposal of a citizen at Seoul Oasis (oasis.seoul.go.kr), a Web site for citizens’ suggestions on municipal policies.

A netizen with the handle “chongsobu” suggested Seoul should have some movie theaters that always provide English subtitles. “One of my foreign friends wanted to see Korean movies and I told him to go to movie theatres. However, he said none of them provide subtitles for expatriates in Korea. … I feel sorry that Seoul city is missing such a golden opportunities for publicizing Korea and Korean culture,” he said.

In connection with CGV, a local multiplex theater chain, Seoul offered English subtitles for some local movies, including “The Good, The Bad, The Weird” starring Lee Byung-hun, Song Kang-ho and Jung Woo-sung and epic film “The Divine Weapon” last year. The English-language subtitles were mainly provided at CGV Yongsan, located near major expatriate residential areas.

“It is difficult for foreigners to see Korean movie without English subtitles and the subtitle program drew positive reactions from foreigners. Moreover, Korean students who want to learn English came to the movies,” Yoon Yeo-jin of CGV said. 

Kim Mi-mi of the city’s Cultural Industry Division said, “According to the movie industry, some 15 local movies will be released this year. We plan to provide subtitles for at least 10 movies.” He said that if the reaction is positive, the city will expand the service to other cinemas as well.

The city also has plans for other cultural events in cooperation with Seoul Global Center.

The city will receive applications from movie theaters from Tuesday and start the service at the end of March.

credit: meeyoo@koreatimes.co.kr + crazee91

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