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Dansungsa reborn as museum commemorating 100th anniversary of Korean cinema Updated: 2019-10-24 07:06:51 KST

Time now for our "Life & Info" segment where we focus on information useful for your everyday life, whether you are in Korea or somewhere else around the world.
Today, we turn our focus to Culture
And to explain what's going on in South Korea right now, we have our Won Jung-hwan in the studio for us.
So Jung-hwan, what do you have for us today?

Hi Mark, this coming Sunday,… Korean cinema celebrates its 100th anniversary,… meaning exactly a century ago, the country screened its first Korean-made movie.
Various events are scheduled over the weekend, including a grand festival, which will be held at Gwanghwamun Plaza.
But today, I am here to introduce you a special museum that has just opened to commemorate the 100th birthday of Korean cinema.
The museum is called, the Dansungsa Cinema History Hall,… and the place was used to be the country's hottest cinema back in the days.
Just to tell you briefly about the place itself,… in 1907, Dansungsa opened as Korea's first motion picture house.
A couple of years later,… Dansungsa hosted the premiere of Korea's first movie, called "Fight for Justice" on October 27th, 1919, exactly hundred years ago,… and that is how the Korean Film Day has born.

So it's a museum inside an old cinema. Before we talk about what's inside,… is this place currently screening movies?

Well, yes but technically no.
To preserve the history of the cinema as much as possible,… it has left just one theater inside the museum for visitors to watch classic films,… but the theater runs only on special occasions.
When I was there during the opening ceremony,… it played "Seopyeonje" a 1993 movie directed by South Korean film master Im Kwon-taek.
And that occasion was due to Im personally attending the ceremony.
The organizers didn't gave out much planned details of how the theater will run,… but they said, classic Korean films will be screened when group tours are scheduled,… with the purpose of educating young students.
In fact, there is a reason for Dansungsa to stop screening movies.
The cinema faced a crisis in the late 1990s amid the opening of big multiplexes by entertainment giants.
It tried to reopen as a multiplex theater in 2005,… but failed to stay afloat in the following years.
It changed hands several times but eventually theater was closed for years.

That's sad,… but that's also the reason it is now a museum. If we go along, what can we expect?

The museum, which is located at the basement floor, has more than 5-thousand pieces that represent the history of the film industry,… including original posters, scripts, and filming equipment.
It also has a memorial zone for directors, actors and actresses, and as you walk down the aisle, you can see how the film industry both domestic and overseas has developed over time.
So for those who are interested in visiting, Dansungsa is located at the intersection of Jongno 3-ga in downtown Seoul, and it's free of charge.

Thank you Jung Hwan.
Now let's take a quick look at some other cultural and sporting events that are taking place across South Korea.
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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