A long line of vehicles formed in front of a drive-in cinema in Seoul as South Koreans looked for safer spaces to enjoy a movie without the risk of contracting COVID-19 raging across the world.
Box office numbers in South Korea — which has 8,897 confirmed virus cases — have plummeted in the past few weeks due to the pandemic, with authorities urging the public to avoid large crowds.
However, at Park Dong-ju’s drive-in cinema, moviegoers can enjoy a film from the comfort of their vehicles, parked in front of a large outdoor screen.
“We’ve had a 10-20 percent increase in sales for weekdays and sell out on weekends,” Park said.
“We’re definitely getting many more calls and Internet inquiries after the coronavirus outbreak,” he added.
A Web site for his drive-in cinema shows a large banner that reads: “Open throughout the year,” a stark contrast to some theaters worldwide forced to suspend business over virus fears.
Choi Jin-young, a 22-year-old hospital worker, said that she had to wait two hours for tickets and was worried that it might sell out for the weekend.
“I wanted to enjoy culture life with my boyfriend, but since cinemas are dangerous and worrying to go, I looked for a special date and that’s how we came here,” she said.
Park Ji-seung, 24, said he refrained from going outside due to the outbreak, but added that he felt “safe” at the drive-in cinema.
South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun urged religious, indoor sports and entertainment facilities to suspend operations for 15 days, asking the public to work from home and not go outside.
Scores of events — from K-pop concerts to sports matches — have been canceled or postponed over the contagion.
French authorities yesterday said that they would close a Paris mosque as part of a clampdown on radical Islam that has yielded over a dozen arrests following the beheading of a teacher who had shown his pupils a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed. The mosque in a densely populated suburb northeast of Paris had disseminated a video on its Facebook page days before Friday’s gruesome murder, railing against teacher Samuel Paty’s choice of material for a class discussion on freedom of expression, a source close to the investigation said. The French Ministry of the Interior said the mosque in Pantin, which has
LONGSTANDING NEUTRALITY: The US request came as it vied for influence in Southeast Asia with China, but Indonesia has never let foreign militaries operate there Indonesia this year rejected a proposal by the US to allow its P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance planes to land and refuel there, four senior Indonesian officials familiar with the matter have said. US officials made multiple “high-level” approaches in July and August to Indonesia’s defense and foreign ministers before Indonesian President Joko Widodo rebuffed the request, the officials said. Representatives for Indonesia’s president and defense minister, the US Department of State’s Office of Press Relations and the US embassy in Jakarta did not respond to requests for comment. Representatives for the US Department of Defense and Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi
COVID-19 UNDER CONTROL: The two prime ministers agreed to ease entry bans, and allow short-term business visits and reopen flights between Vietnam and Japan Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, in his first overseas summit since taking office last month, yesterday agreed with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to step up defense and security cooperation in the face of China’s expanding influence in the region. In talks in Hanoi, Suga and Phuc set up a basic agreement allowing Japan to export defense equipment and technology to Vietnam. Japan has been pursuing such agreements to bolster ties with Southeast Asian nations and sustain its own defense industry. Suga said that his four-day trip to Vietnam and Indonesia would be key to pursuing the “free and open Indo-Pacific” vision
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night said that he has no problem with being held responsible for the many killings under his crackdown on drugs, and that he is ready to face charges that could land him in jail, but not charges of crimes against humanity. Duterte’s televised remarks were among his clearest acknowledgement of the prospects that he could face a deluge of criminal charges for the bloody campaign he launched after taking office in the middle of 2016. Police have reported that at least 5,856 drug suspects have been killed in raids and more than 256,000 others arrested since