Cup runneth over for bars, theaters

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Cup runneth over for bars, theaters

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Workers of Kyobo Life Insurance, wearing red shirts, cheer for Korea’s national World Cup football team yesterday at the intersection of Gwanghwamun, central Seoul. [YONHAP]

Korea plays Greece this Saturday in a preliminary match of the World Cup in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Question No. 1: Who’s going to win? Question No. 2: Where are you going to watch the match? In the comfort of your own home, or one of the myriad establishments competing to lure in footballs fans?

The streets of Hongdae are plastered with ads offering World Cup freebies. One joint is giving patrons free tequila starting from 30 minutes before the game to its conclusion, while a popular dance club will be letting people in for free until 9 p.m. on game days.

Lotte Cinema and CJ’s CGV will show the games on theater screens and tickets are selling out.

“Game screenings have been held at CGV ever since the 2002 World Cup, but what’s different this time is that we are planning to show games in 3-D,” said Kim Dae-hee, a spokesperson for CGV. “We don’t think that many people have bought 3-D TVs for their homes to watch the games, so we are looking to bring the experience to them.”

CGV is also offering complimentary red T-shirts to those who buy popcorn combos on game day.

Lotte Cinema said 75,000 people have reserved tickets for the screenings and the company is “looking to make other theaters available because of the massive overflow,” said Lotte public relations official You Jina.

University students who failed to get tickets need not fear, because major schools in Seoul are planning campus screenings.

“Word of the event is spreading among students and so are the expectations,” said Lee Woo-sik, a member of the student council at Korea University in Seoul. “We’re looking at getting 1,000 students for an outdoor screening on the 17th.”

Yonsei University is opting for a less raucous screening in an auditorium on campus, although the school’s cheerleaders are planning to vamp up, said Yang Su-jin from the student council.

Whatever the venue, hopes are running high for the upcoming match. “I am hoping Korea does well,” said Kim Jung-yoon, a student, “since this is only the beginning of the Cup.”


By Christine Kim [christine.kim@joongang.co.kr]

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