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‘Aliens’ invade S. Korean park

Landmark Entertainment Group is teaming up with 20th Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising and the Korean giant Samsung Electronics to design, produce and build a $50 million attraction based on the “Aliens” franchise for a theme park near the South Korean capital of Seoul.

“Aliens: 3-D,” by all accounts the largest, costliest and most complex “ride” ever conceived for a theme park, is scheduled to open sometime late in 1999 at the Everland Park complex in Yong-in, South Korea.

While it will require the use of lightweight 3-D glasses, the new attraction will combine live action, strereoscopically filmed elements and sophisticated sound engineering to enhance the “holographic” quality of the experience, according to Landmark’s producer on the project, Ty Granaroli.

“The lines between what’s live and what’s pre-produced will be very blurred on this attraction,” he added. “It’ll be very hard to tell where one begins and the other ends.”

The license for the “Aliens” property comes from Fox, which has produced all four pics (including the forthcoming “Alien Resurrection,” due out in November) in the franchise. The licensing/merchandising arm of the studio will oversee the development of the attraction and contribute to the overall authenticity of the “Aliens” aspects of the ride.

The venture also allows Fox to get its feet wet in the theme-park game at minimal upfront risk.

For Samsung Electronics Co. — the consumer-tech arm of the Samsung Group, whose sales run to almost $100 billion annually — and for all of South Korea, the “Aliens” attraction marks a new frontier. Not only will the attraction be the first of its kind to make its debut in Korea, it will also be South Korea’s first 3-D installation of any significance.

“The objective of Samsung is to build a world-class facility that will allow visitors of all ages from around the world the chance to dream new dreams and to be entertained in new ways,” said Jae Yong Bae, senior managing director of Cheil Communications, the advertising agency handling Samsung Electronics Co.

Landmark, founded in 1980 by theme-park veterans Gary Goddard and Todd Christopher, has a number of attractions already under its belt, most notably the “Jurassic Park: The Ride” attraction for Universal Studios and the “Star Trek: The Experience” site for Paramount and Hilton Hotels in Las Vegas, set to open in November of this year.

Samsung and Landmark have worked together before. The latter produced the former’s “Starquest” pavilion for the Taejon World Expo in South Korea in 1993.

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