Business booms for 'Parasite' locations

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 13 2020 07:48 PM | Updated as of Feb 14 2020 08:39 AM

Business booms for 'Parasite' locations 1
Pig Rice Supermarket featured in South Korea's Oscar-winning "Parasite" is seen in Ahyeon-dong, one of the last shanty towns near downtown Seoul, South Korea. Hyun Young Yi, Reuters

SEOUL - Locations featured in South Korea's Oscar-winning "Parasite" movie have enjoyed a business boom since its Oscar triumph, with a pizza store seeing sales double. 

The genre-defying thriller critiquing the gap between rich and poor won four Oscars, including best picture, the first non-English language film to win the top prize since the Academy Awards debuted in 1929.

South Koreans have been overjoyed by its success, with many paying visits to spots where scenes were filmed.

"Sales have doubled," said Eom Hang-ki, 65, owner of Sky Pizza in southern Seoul, a nondescript 10-seat restaurant and takeaway where the poor Kim family scheme to infiltrate another member into the wealthy Park household. "Yesterday, the pizza machine broke down due to an overload of orders.

"It was special, touching, and heart warming when they won the awards," she added.

Customer Go Jin-kyu, 37, said visiting the pizza shop made him "proud as a fellow South Korean".

"I've only visited restaurants from big pizza franchises before, so coming here to the film location is really special." 

Seoul's city government has been looking to tap into the "Parasite" phenomenon, with a page on its tourism website detailing four shooting locations.

At the Pig Rice Supermarket in western Seoul, a mom and pop grocery store where the Kims' son is drinking when he receives an offer to tutor the Parks' daughter, owner Kim Kyung-soon said: "I am really happy and thankful to them for shooting a great film here and making me famous too."

But not all the reactions had been positive, added Kim, who has run the shop for 35 years: with talk of the site being preserved as a tourist attraction, some residents were "worried that the neighborhood won't be redeveloped".