Analog film era ends in Korea with Cinecube’s switch

Switch in film technology spells end for age of analogue films in S. Korea1
Written by Peter Kim

Switch in film technology spells end for age of analogue films in S. Korea

Cinecube’s switch to digital means Korean movie theaters have scrapped all analog projectors and replaced them with the latest digital equipment, business sources said Wednesday.

“We recently replaced all of our analog film projectors with digital ones,” said Cinecube, an arthouse theater in Seoul, in a news release. The movie house was the last in the country to use analog equipment to screen films.

The move is likely to have an effect on Cinemate, a film processing laboratory and Korea’s only company that makes subtitles for analog movies. Cinemate will wrap up its analog business early next year and shift its focus toward digital subtitles and post-production.

“We’ve decided to stop inserting English subtitles on analog Korean films after January,” said Son Sang-gyun, a Cinemate board member. “Domestic film fans will no longer be able to see new films made in analog.”

The Seoul Film Laboratory, which was responsible for hit Korean movies as “The Good, the Bad and the Weird” (2008) by director Kim Ji-woon and “Thirst” (2009) directed by Park Chan-wook, will soon close, being the latest casualty among major film laboratories over the past two years.

The fall in analog film production in Korea began in the 2000s, when multiplex chains started going digital one screen at a time.

CJ CGV in April finished replacing all of its analog projection equipment in its cinemas nationwide. Lotte Cinema had done the same in 2010 and Megabox last year.

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Peter Kim

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