Sunday, July 17, 2011

The historic Shinjuku Koma Theater torn down for new multiplex/ hotel development

by Chris MaGee

We know it is repeated again and again and again, but the line "Pave paradise and put up a parking lot" from Canadian folk legend Joni Mitchell's 1970 hit "Big Yellow Taxi" is just as apt now as it was over four decades ago. Latest case in point... not the paving of anything, but instead the construction of yet another multiplex theatre, but this one in Shinjuku is more than a bit disturbing/ annoying because it is taking place on hallowed ground for Japan's entertainment industry.

As we told you back at the end of 2008 the historic Koma Theater (above left) closed after 50 years in operation. The theater, which opened in 1956, played host to kabuki plays, some of the biggest stars in enka music and it also featured a basement movie theatre. In 2008 the property was bought up by Toho Studios, and now guess what? Yup... Toho is planning to construct a 32-storey, 130-meter-tall high rise that will not only house one of Toho's many multi-screen movie theatre complexes, but also a 1,030 room hotel that has been dubbed the Shinjuku Toho Building Washington Hotel (above right). This new Toho multiplex will compete with the current Shinjuku Wald 9 and Piccadilly.

Sad news that came to us via Japan Today.

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