SEOUL, July 13 (Korea Bizwire) — As movie theaters are seeing a return of customers with the end of social distancing, the aftermath of staff cuts during the pandemic era is being felt by customers.
Three major multiplexes in the summer peak season have taken measures to run movie theaters with minimal staffing, introducing policies like unmanned entry into the theaters.
“I haven’t gone to watch a movie in such a long time. I was surprised to see that there was no one to check my ticket,” said a 24-year-old college student surnamed Kim. “There must be people who just go in and watch without buying a ticket.”
Online communities share stories about the how they ran into actual ‘movie squatters’.
Multiplexes have raised their ticket prices, but the staff shortage has done little to upgrade their services, some say.
Industry tracker WiseApp reported that customer payments at multiplexes in May recovered to levels from May 2019, prior to the pandemic.
A CGV quarterly report showed, however, that the company employed only 3,216 people as of March 31, which was less than half of the number of employees recorded in September 2019.
With cutbacks on ticketing staff, seniors in particular are struggling to use mobile applications or kiosks to purchase a ticket.
Ashley Song (email@example.com)