SEOUL, Nov. 6 (Korea Bizwire) — Thanks to the government’s decision to relax the social distancing restrictions to Level 1 starting from this Saturday, the ‘seat separation’ policies at movie theaters and performance venues will be lifted.
Nonetheless, the nation’s movie theaters and performance venues are still struggling.
The film and performance industry is welcoming the easing of social distancing rules but remains cautious that it may not be enough to reverse the slump created by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In particular, the film industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the number of moviegoers declining by 70 percent compared to a year ago.
The number of movie theaters which were shut down or had reduced hours of operation has increased sharply.
Worse, a string of new blockbuster films that were expected to attract many viewers have been delayed or moved to over-the-top (OTT) platforms.
The decrease in the number of moviegoers has led to a decline in popcorn and beverage sales at movie theaters.
The situation is same for the performance industry such as musicals and plays. Unlike the film industry, the performance industry has limits to the number of performances.
Without achieving an appropriate level of seat occupancy rate, the performance industry has no other option but to suffer losses.
The musical industry welcomed the government’s decision to ease the social distancing rules that have enforced seat separation policies without any exception, saying that it would help the industry breathe better.
However, since it’s difficult to predict how long the Level 1 social distancing restrictions will continue, the film and performance industry is still having difficulty selling tickets.
This is because most ticket reservations are made two or four weeks before the performance. If the level of social distancing restrictions is abruptly adjusted, it could lead to chaos.
J. S. Shin (email@example.com)