Starting today, Korean movie theaters will only have to show domestic films, 73 days in a year, down from the previous 146, allowing more foreign movies to be screened.
Domestic filmmakers held a mass rally in downtown Seoul, protesting the reduction in the screen quota.
Lee Jee-won reports.
Entertainment for the country in June consisted mainly of two things: the World Cup soccer finals, and Hollywood blockbusters.
As if that wasn't bad enough for the domestic film industry, here comes another spoiler: a drastic cut in the screen quota.
Starting Saturday, movie theaters must only show domestic films for 73 days in a year, half of what it used to be.
The quota cut is a concession made ahead of free trade talks with the United States.
The country's actors, directors, and producers have staged protests, urging the government to retract its decision.
To show it means business, the film industry have announced a halt to all production for three days.
Protestors warn that the lower quota will discourage investors from putting their money into the film business, closing off the industry to up and coming talent.
But movie distributors and theater owners welcome the change, as they have greater freedom to pick and choose what they can show.
The government has pledged 400 million U.S. dollars in subsidies and construction of 100 art house theaters, to guarantee the survival of less commercially appealing films.
But where the funds will come from remains undecided.
The screen quota was introduced in 1967, to nurture the country's fledgling film industry.
Proponents of the regulation say that without the quota, the domestic movie industry would never have come this far.
Lee Jee-won, Arirang News.