Cinema Paradiso on Campus

One thing I love to do when I’m on a trip is to visit college campuses. It’s always fun to compare and contrast the different styles and atmospheres they have. I love our campus(even if it takes forever to get to business school building)too, but there are many other great schools in Seoul that are worth visiting. For this series of I chose three schools; Ewha Womans University, Korea University, and Konkuk University. Though located in different districts of Seoul, they have something in common that attracts people.

 

That’s right. These three schools I’m about to introduce have campus cinemas where you can enjoy good movies that you many not find on big multiplex chains like CGV or Megabox.

 

  1. ARTHOUSE MOMO / Ewha Womans University (아트하우스 모모/이화여자대학교)

Ewha Womans University (이화여자대학교) is the first university founded exclusively for girls in the history of Korea. It is known for its beautiful campus that sits in Sinchon, Mapo-gu (신촌 마포구), along with other schools like Yonsei University (연세대학교) or Sogang University (서강대학교). Though Ewha has always had a fabulous campus, it gained its reputation when the famous ECC (Ewha Campus Complex) building was completed in 2008.

Source: Arthouse Momo

 

Arthouse Momo is a small theatre located at ECC. It only has two screening rooms with about 130 seats each. One should never underestimate this petit movie house for its size though. It offers good films from all over the world, specially selected by professionals of a real movie studio that runs this place. Most of the movies they feature are independent movies and relatively low-budget movies that don’t get much chance at multiplex movie houses.

(Source: Arthouse Momo)

(Source: Arthouse Momo)

What’s really great about Arthouse Momo is that it often holds a series of film festivals with special themes. For instance, in the month of March, it held an event entitled “Francophonie Film Festival.” As you can guess from the title, this film festival screened various movies from countries that use French as their first or second language. Watching movies from Côte d´Ivoire and Tunisia isn’t something that you get to do everyday, is it?

Many of its past film festivals were themed based on specific countries or regions; Arab Film Festival, Russia-Eurasia Film Festival, and so on.  Still, the theme is not limited to geographic or cultural categorization. It also had held film festivals focusing on labor and human rights problem, architecture, and many other interesting themes.

The most recent film festival ended on March 26, and right now it is screening movies like “Il Postino(a 1994 film from Italy being re-screened),” “Moonlight(Best Picture for Oscars 2017)” and “Toni Erdmann(a German film that also won an Oscar this year).” Cinephiles should never miss this opportunity to watch all these fine movies Arthouse Mom has to offer now.

Arthouse Momo has an online booking system that only provides service in Korean. From my experience, advance booking is not necessary as long as it’s not for a special event like film festivals.  You will be able to watch whatever you want, unless you don’t make it on time. Arthouse Momo has a strict policy regarding screening time; if you show up later than 10 minutes past the notified time, entrance may be restricted.

Address: B402, ECC, 52, Ewhayeodae-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 서대문구 이화여대길 52 ECC B402)

 

A tip from a friend in Ewha University:

Make sure you try Ewha’s famous gimbap (김밥)! Ewha Sarang (이화사랑), one of Ewha’s campus cafeterias, has a legacy of 15 years for offering affordable yet delicious food to students of Ewha. It gained its reputation with its ever famous tuna gimbap. Plenty of Ewha alumni still visit their school from time to time just for this tuna gimbap, so give it a shot!

 

  1. KU CINEMA TRAP / Korea University (KU 시네마 트랩 / 고려대학교)

Source: Korea University

The main building of Korea University (고려대학교) has a history of being the first Western style building created by a Korean architect. Located at Anam (안암) of Seongbuk-gu (성북구), Korea University is one of many schools in Seoul that are really worth visiting in springtime.

Arthouse Momo was indeed small compared to many other movie houses we often go to. To your surprise, KU Cinema Trap is even smaller than Arthouse Momo. It only has one screening room with 144 seats.

Source: KU Cinema Trap

 

Though it is small, it provides the audience with best environment for watching-or rather appreciating-a good movie. If you compare the seats with those of multiplex movie houses, you’ll instantly feel that Cinema Trap’s seats are much bigger. They’re also arranged to avoid possible inconveniences like having your vision interfered by the person in front of you. In addition, food and drinks(with the exception of water)are not allowed in the screening room to make sure no one gets distracted(the two other movie houses also adopt the same policy). These small differences appeals to people who wish to really focus on the movie when in screening.

What I really like about Cinema Trap though, is its cute practice of stamping a coupon every time you watch a movie here.

Source: Twitter account of KU Cinema Trap

 

 

If you look closely, you’ll see that the second stamp of the top row is a famous scene from “La La Land,” where Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are dancing with each other. All their stamps represent the movies they are screening at that particular time. You get a free ticket when you collect all seven of them.

The official website of KU Cinema Trap offers a few tips on how to collect stamps faster, and here they are:

  1. You get double stamps if you watch a movie on its opening day.
  2. You get an extra stamp if you watch a movie on a rainy day(rainy day stamp)
  3. You get an extra stamp if you watch two movies in a row(movie fanatic stamp)

KU Cinema Trap is screening 6 movies this week including La La Land and On the Beach at Night Alone, the most recent film by a renowned director Hong Sang Soo (홍상수). KU Cinema Trap is one of few movie houses in Seoul that provides English subtitles for Korean movies. It is limited to particular screening time, so you have to double check before booking a ticket. As of now, it provides English subtitles to On the Beach at Night Alone (밤의 해변에서 혼자) every Monday. It would be a great opportunity for you to watch Kim Min Hee’s (김민희) award winning performance (Berlin Film Festival) in this movie!

 

A tip from a friend in Korea University:

Young Chul Burger (영철버거) is a famous burger place that originally started out as a street stall near Korea University in 2000. It became so successful that at one point, Young Chul Burger started donating 20 million won( (about 17 thousand US dollars) to Korea University as a scholarship every month. Many underprivileged students were able to graduate with the help from Young Chul Burger. However, in 2015, Young Chul Burger had to close down its business due to financial aggravation. This news broke the hearts of students, faculty, and even alumni of Korea University, because they felt as though they owe Young Chul Burger a debt of gratitude. As s result, a group of students from Korea University started a crowdfunding campaign to provide financial support to Young Chul Burger. This campaign became a huge success, raising more than 70 million won(about 60 thousand US dollars). With the help of various members of Korea University, Young Chul Burger was able to get back into business. This story is so dramatic it makes you want to try a burger or two at Young Chul Burger, doesn’t it? I say, go for it! Young Chul Burger offers Korean style burgers and sandwiches that come with a reasonable price. Check out its famous “street burger” that got Young Chul Burger from a street stall to what it has become today. You won’t regret it.

 

  1. KU Cinemateque / Konkuk University (KU 시네마테크 / 건국대학교)

Among the three schools, Konkuk University (건국대학교) is nearest to Hanyang University. It’s only 3 stations away on Line 2 of Seoul Metro. Konkuk University has a lake on campus, which attracts not only students but also residents of Gwangjin-gu, district in which KU is located. It is also a good spot to enjoy cherry blossoms in April and May. It’s not as big as Yeouido (여의도) or Seokchon Lake (석촌호수), but if you don’t want to go too far, KU would be just as good.

Source: Konkuk University

KU Cinemateque is run by the same company that runs KU Cinema Trap, and it provides comfortable environment for watching movies too. For instance, it has 152 seats in a screening room that can normally accommodate about 250 seats if it were for multiplex movie houses. The program isn’t much different from KU Cinema Trap, so if you find Cinema Trap too far from Hanyang, you can always go for the alternative that’s just three stations away!

 

 

A tip from a friend in Konkuk University: 

At exit no.2 of Konkuk University Station (건대입구역) unfolds a street filled with food and drinks. It is called “Meokja Golmok (먹자골목)”, which can be loosely translated into “food street” in English. It’s not always pleasant I guess, because at night it gets really crowded with people gathering to grab something to drink after a day at work or school. But it sure offers you a typical night out in Seoul, and if you are a party lover who wants to experience what it is like to have a fun night in Korea it’s worth a try. I say the atmosphere is somewhere between Wangsimni (왕십리) and Hongdae (홍대).

 

Article by Jieun from Korea, a Senior in Business Administration

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