Seoul Shock: The Korean Movie Experience

Danielle Davidson is currently studying abroad in Seoul, South Korea. This is her firsthand experience with living abroad.

Eight-thirty on a Saturday night I walked with quick steps up the stairs to get out of the cold. Looking up, the word Megabox was a giant neon blur against the otherwise gray building. It was my first time at a Korean movie theater and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Waving hands caught my eye and I saw my friends waiting outside the
doorway.

I expected the whole building to be theaters, but I guess I was wrong. Megabox was on the fifth floor. Where were we supposed to go? I didn’t see any ticket counters and the lights were fairly dim.

Thankfully, one of my friends had been there before and led the way. He led us down a hallway. A right turn, and then a left and the hall opened into a lobby…a tiny lobby. Why was it so small? We were led straight across the room and to a small ticket machine.

Press the button and ta-da, we got a number, which was nice, because then we didn’t have to stand in line. So, like the foreigners we are, we whipped out our phones and cameras and documented the event!

We watched as people bought their tickets from the ticket-machines, something we would have done, but we wanted the student discount so we were waiting to see an actual person.

Our number was called and we went up to the counter. One of the nicest things about a Korean movie theater is that the seats are assigned. Customers can reserve seats online if they want.

Something I found fun though, was that all the English movies have subtitles in Korean, and occasionally I found myself reading the Korean along with listening to the English.

My Korean movie theater experience was similar in some ways and different in others when compared to the States. But, it was fun and next time I might try going to one of those 4D theaters they have. That would be exciting.

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