Seoul Metropolitan City has ordered Lotte Cinema’s World Tower branch, housing the Guinness record holder for world’s biggest screen, to shut down.
This follows a string of safety-related incidents in the Lotte World Tower and Mall which most recently included the death of a construction worker yesterday (Dec 16).
With 21 screens and 4,615 seats, Lotte’s World Tower branch is known as the largest cinema in Asia.
Film events such as the VIP screening and showcase for period costume drama The Royal Tailor have had to suddenly cancel or change venues. Locally distributed by Showbox/Mediaplex and Wow Pictures, the film starring Han Seok-kyu originally planned to hold its VIP events tomorrow evening at the World Tower cinema, but announced their cancellation today.
Yoo Ji-tae-starrer The Tenor (Lirico Spinto), which was scheduled to have a VIP screening there on Dec 22, quickly announced it is moving to the Lotte Cinema Cheongnyangni branch.
Aiming to be Korea’s tallest building at 123 storeys, Lotte World Tower is still under construction. It has been plagued with problems such as cracks in the concrete, worker accidents, and sinkholes appearing around the site in Jamshil, southern Seoul.
Some of the complex’s lower floors opened for business earlier this year, including the cinema and an aquarium. The latter, holding a reported 4,000 tons of water, sprang multiple leaks last week and was shut down for inspections.
The cinema, which opened Oct 15, got complaints that a screen was vibrating during a film on Dec 10. Seoul City has ordered the cinema to close for safety inspections.
They have also stopped construction on the performance hall where a worker fell to his death yesterday.