81 cinemas closed their doors across the nation last year

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81 cinemas closed their doors across the nation last year

A cinema in Seoul stays relatively empty on Dec. 7, a day before the government raised the social distancing guidelines to Level 2.5. [YONHAP]

A cinema in Seoul stays relatively empty on Dec. 7, a day before the government raised the social distancing guidelines to Level 2.5. [YONHAP]

 
Eighty-one cinemas shut their doors last year after being hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, marking the worst year for the Korean film industry since the international financial depression in 2008. 
 
According to data from the Ministry of Interior and Safety, the number of cinemas that had to close last year is twice as many as in 2019, which was 43, and the highest since 88 cinemas shut down in 2008 due to the global financial crisis.
 
The area which saw the most cinemas shutter was Incheon with 21, followed by four in Gyeonggi, two in Seoul and the rest from all over the country.
 
Korean cinemas were battered by a series of strict social distancing measures in the country to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the first case of which was reported in January last year.
 
The data also showed 218 movie theaters were newly opened nationwide last year, up from 173 a year earlier.
 
BY YOON SO-YEON, YONHAP     [yoon.soyeon@joongang.co.kr] 
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