Monday, August 17, 2009

The New People theatre opens in San Francisco's Japantown

by Chris MaGee

Things have obviously been very busy around the Pow-Wow of late. Of course the biggest reason for that is the Shinsedai Cinema Festival coming up this weekend in Toronto, but with day jobs, the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, prepping for TIFF it's been a bit crazy. Sadly one of the things that I had to pass on because of all the work was a chance to head down to San Francisco to attend the grand opening of the New People theatre and cultural complex at at 1746 Post Street in San Francisco's Japantown. As we reported back in May, the 20,000 square foot, $15 million New People facility was conceived by Seiji Horibuchi, the founder and CEO of Viz Pictures as "a dedicated platform to foster the appreciation, preservation and exposure of Japanese popular culture and to connect the public with its creators." I was surprised and honoured when I received an email a couple weeks back from Viz Pictures inviting me to the grand opening, but because of Shinsedai (and general lack of funds) I had to pass.

While I wasn't there Japanese pop culture aficionado Patrick Macias was and he's got some great pics of the event. As a way to kick things off in a big way New People premiered the last chapter in Yukihiko Tsutsumi's "20th Century Boys" trilogy, plus a makeover contest featuring the 6%DOKIDOKI girls entertained the crowd. The big thing that got me excited were the fantastic New People t-shirts designed by pop artist Junko Mizuno. If there's anyone from New People or Viz Media reading this post now... I take an XL.

For the full gallery of Patrick's pics of the New People theatre just visit his blog here.

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