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Non-verbal show Nanta's theater will close due to lack of Chinese tourists

Popular non-verbal show “Nanta” will close one of its exclusive theaters in central Seoul as the number of Chinese tour groups, its main customers, plummeted due to a diplomatic feud between Seoul and Beijing over a US anti-missile system, its production company said Tuesday.

PMC Production said it will close the Chungjeongno theater, one of four “Nanta” theaters in the country, at the end of this year.

The theater has been heavily used by Chinese tour groups. 

(PMC Production)
(PMC Production)
“We‘ve notified the building owner that we are going to use it until the end of this year,” an official from the production company told Yonhap News Agency. “We reached the conclusion that it is hard to keep running the theater as we have nearly zero Chinese tourists.”

In March, the Chinese government banned the sale of group tours to South Korea in protest against Seoul’s decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system.

“We have monitored the situation, hoping that things would improve. But now as if adding insult to injury, the North Korean nuke issue has aggravated the situation even further. We don‘t believe we can recover this easily,” said the official.

“Nanta” premiered in 1997 and quickly became one of the most popular performing art shows for its original concept and interesting and funny storyline. In 2000, an exclusive theater for the show opened mainly for foreign tourists.

The 560-seat Chungjeongno theater has been one of the most heavily visited since it opened in 2013. But since April, it has been temporarily closed due to a sharp drop in Chinese tourists.

The lease is originally set to expire at the end of next year.

As of last month, the accumulated number of performances marked 46,000, with more than 12 million viewers.

Meanwhile, the production will hold a special ceremony at the Chungjeongno theater on Friday to mark the 20th anniversary of the show. (Yonhap)
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