Korea’s three largest multiplex chains CGV, Lotte Cinema, and Megabox, are evolving their business scope into complex cultural spaces that provide unique experiences to meet customer needs, instead of just being places where you come to watch movies. They are doing this by hosting events and programs, not just ones connected to movie screenings, but in addition have enhanced their offerings with sports experience spaces and exhibitions using the advantages that cinema spaces offer.
CJ CGV is offering a short-game golf studio in a movie theatre as well as a climbing gym and bowling pub. Lotte also recently launched the ‘European Classical Concert Tour Planning Exhibition’, which showcases performances by world-renowned classical musicians in Paris, France, Munich, Germany, and Prague, Czech Republic. Megabox is offering curated lectures associated with film releases.
Unlike many other Asian nations (with the exception of Japan) Korea has a mature cinema market, with many multiplexes 20 years or older, as well as an aging population. That means that they cannot expand by building more multiplexes in an already saturated market. Together the three Korean cinema majors demonstrate why Korea is a country that cinema operators in Western Europe and North America could draw inspiration from as they too re-think the cinema experience.