Dream theme park for K-pop lovers
Dec 23, 2016
Visitors check the life-size photos of SM Entertainment stars at SMTOWN@coexartium in southern Seoul./ Korea Times photos by Jung Min-ho

Are you a big fan of K-pop? Are some of your favorite singers from SM Entertainment? If you answer “yes” to these two questions, there is a place you do not want to miss during your visit to Seoul.

SMTOWN@coexartium, a five-story building at COEX in southern Seoul, is the place where K-pop fans' dreams come true, with almost anything and everything about SM stars filling the whole space.

From a cafe with traces of stars to a hologram theater that shows lifelike performances, the place is surely a theme park that any fan would love to visit. It charges no entrance fee but offers a plenty of interesting things that cannot be experienced elsewhere.

After passing through a welcome zone on the first floor, visitors can go to a “SUM” celebrity shop on the second floor, where they can purchase souvenirs and fashion items hand-picked by stars.

There are pillows, tumblers and other merchandise printed with celebrity faces, of course. For some fans, more interesting items are bags, hats, shoes and accessories stars personally love.

Photos of SM singers are hung on the wall.

At the “Salon” on the third floor, visitors can get a glimpse of what it feels like to be a singer through many programs. With reservations, they can have vocal training, makeup services and more with the aid of professional SM artists. The recording booths and photo studios are not much different from the real ones that stars use every day.

Feeling a little tired and hungry? The “LIVErary Cafe” on the fourth floor offers cookies and cakes for a break. The best part of the place is its tables, chairs and albums all autographed by stars. Also featured is an SM archive, through which the history of its singers can be seen at a glance, and a music lounge with a juke box.

The fifth floor gives an opportunity for fans to digitally interact with their favorite stars. In the theater, they can watch holographic performances of singers such as SHINee, EXO or Girls' Generation. It also shows the world's first hologram musical “School OZ.”

Over the past few years, SM has invested in hologram and virtual reality technologies as an alternative to live performances, believing that they will be the future of the entertainment industry. Fan or not, people can see how much progress the industry leader has made so far there.

At the photo box, visitors can take photos with celebrities standing right next to them. Good photos can be printed at the ticket box. Depending on the size, which can be life-size, it costs 70,000 won ($59) to 150,000 won.

Pictures of stars' handprints are displayed on a wall beside the photo box. In front of it, there is an interesting machine fans can use to know which stars have the most similar-looking palm lines with their own.

Source:The Korea Times

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