Korean cinemas headed for price rise

Megabox, others to raise prices to cover investments

SEOUL -- Ticket prices at Korean multiplexes are expected to rise in coming months, based on an announcement by one of the country's largest multiplex chains.

Megabox, one of Korea's three top chains, said Friday that the company will raise their ticket price by 1,000 won (US$0.79) from 7,000 won-8,000 won starting Friday.

Tickets for high school students will rise by 500 won from the current 6,500 won-7,000 won with a new fee category for children from age four to students in elementary schools at 6,000 won. The company's ticket price for adults has remained 7,000 won since 2001.

"The rise was inevitable due to the company's continuous investment on new projectors and hardware since adopting the digital cinema system," said Lee Jeong-a, an official at Megabox.

The announcement has led other Korean multiplex chains to consider adjusting their ticket prices as well.

An official at CGV said the company is carefully reviewing its options though nothing is set now. Lotte Cinema expressed a similar view.

Separately, Hyundai Securities said that the price rise for CGV will increase the company's profits as much as 9.9% as early as this year.

Yonhap, the country's national news agency, reported that CGV's stock rose by nearly 11% on Monday compared with the previous working day after Hyundai's report.
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