SEOUL (Yonhap) The construction of a massive film culture complex featuring not for profit theaters began in Seoul's Chungmu ro district, a symbolic place for the nation's film industry, on Wednesday.

The Seoul metropolitan government said it started the construction of the film themed complex building, named Seoul Cinematheque, on a former public parking lot in Chungmu ro, central Seoul, aiming to complete the project by March 2022.

Seoul Cinematheque, which will house three theaters exclusively designed for the screening of noncommercial cinema, including independent, art and classical films, has been a long cherished dream for the local film sector since its blueprint was first unveiled five years ago.

The Seoul government said a separate groundbreaking ceremony for Seoul Cinematheque won't be held in consideration of the growing societywide fears of the spread of the novel coronavirus.

According to the government, the 10 floor, 4,800 square meter Seoul Cinematheque building will house three noncommercial theaters, film museum and archives, film media center, cafe and bookstore, among others.

Using the complex building's facilities, even ordinary people will be able to browse through old films, rent video equipment and produce their own movies, it explained, adding a film production class will also be offered there.

The Seoul Cinematheque project will cost 26.5 billion won (US$22.36 million), with the land provided by Seoul's Chung Ward.

The city government said it aims to foster Seoul Cinematheque into the capital's leading film industry space, like Paris' Francaise and New York's Film Forum.

Source: Yonhap News Agency