SEOUL, Feb. 19 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s performing art industry declined last year, a recent survey by the culture ministry showed Monday.
According to the “2017 Survey on the Performing Arts” published by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the total sales of the industry decreased 4.3 percent from a year ago to 748 billion won (US$711 million) last year.
Except for ticket sales that rose 0.5 percent to 365 billion won, other revenues, such as theater rental and performance fees, all declined. Musicals turned out to be the most popular by taking up 52.5 percent of the total ticket sales with 191 billion won, followed by plays with 77.4 billion won.
The number of performances decreased 8.8 percent to stand at 174,191, while total viewers dropped more than 20 percent to slightly over 30 million. Among attendees, only 45 percent paid, a 3.6 percent drop from a year ago.
The operating rate of theaters and performing art venues was 60.8 percent, down 5 percent from 2015 and 11.7 percent from 2013. Only state-run venues and those in the Daehangno area dotted with theaters run an average operating rate of 84.2 percent and 99.6 percent, respectively.
The ministry said 34 theaters closed down temporarily or permanently nationwide in 2016. It attributed the industry-wide slump to the prolonged economic slowdown, a drop in Chinese tourists and the month-long weekly anti-government protests that eventually led to the ouster of former President Park Geun-hye.