by Chris MaGee
Back at the end of 2008 we reported on the closure of the historic Koma Theater in Tokyo's Shinjuku district. That was sad enough news, but according to this report over at The Tokyo Reporter things haven't gotten much better since then, in fact they're worse.
This past November seven screens closed in Tokyo's Kabukicho district (above) including one run by theatre company Humax Cinema (similar to our Cineplex or Famous Players) which had been in business since 1947. That brings the number of theatre screens in Kabukicho to a rock bottom four from the original fourteen just over a year ago. The reason? Even though the percentage of people in Japan going to actually see Japanese films has been strong in the past couple years the reason for these closures is pretty much the same one given here in North America and especially Toronto - The big multiplexes, plus skyrocketing rents and real estate, are just pushing the smaller theatres out of business.
Follow the link above for additional details on this sad state of affairs, but be prepared to be driven to drink. I know it's done that to us.