Sunday, May 15, 2011

Toho Nichigeki Theater

by Armand Vaquer

Above, the original Toho Nichigeki Theater circa 1961. Note the movie marquee on the right and what movie is playing there. (Kudos to John "Dutch" DeSentis for finding this shot!) The Yurakucho Mullion Building (featured in "Return of Godzilla" (1984)) now occupies this site.

In 1954, Godzilla rampaged through Tokyo, including the exclusive shopping district of Ginza.

Oooh, it tickles!

There is a scene in the movie where Godzilla steps on some train tracks. The electrical current courses through his body, causing his tail to wildly whip about until it hits a birthday cake-shaped building. This building was Toho's Nichigeki Theater.

Above, Godzilla approaches the Nichigeki Theater (left).

Above, as Godzilla steps on the train tracks, his tail whips about as the electricity from the tracks course through his body. The Nichigeki Theater is in the background.

Above, the Nichigeki Theater is smashed by Godzilla's tail.

The scene was intended as an "inside joke" for the patrons screening Godzilla (1954) in the very theater that gets smashed in the movie.

The Site Today

Today, the Nichigeki Theater has been replaced by the Yurakucho Mullion Building. There is a Toho Nichigeki Theater inside the the complex, but the current Nichigeki Theater is a multi-screen theater similar to what is found in shopping malls in the U.S. I saw Space Battleship Yamato at the Nichigeki last December.

Also within the complex, is the Picadilly Theaters where Gamera The Brave (2006) was premiered.

Above, the Yurakucho Mullion Building today. The Toho Cinemas Nichigeki multi-plex is housed within.

For more on the Yurakucho Mullion Building and how to get there to see it, see page 28 of The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan.

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Burbank, CA – March 29, 2010 – Legendary Pictures announced today that they will develop and produce a new film based on Toho Company’s famed GODZILLA character. Through the terms of the agreement, Legendary Pictures has acquired the rights to produce a movie inspired by Toho’s Godzilla, a franchise the Japanese company created and has nurtured for over fifty years.

Toho’s GODZILLA franchise boasts one of the most widely recognized film creatures worldwide, resulting in a series of books, television programs, video games and more than 25 films worldwide. Legendary intends to approach the film and its characters in the most authentic manner possible. The company will, in the near future, announce a filmmaker to helm the film for an intended 2012 release. The film will fall under the company’s co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Toho will distribute the film in Japan."

"Godzilla" is coming back -- this time, with Legendary Pictures taking the lead, co-producing and co-financing with Warner Bros. for release in 2012.

Legendary announced Monday it had obtained rights to the iconic monster character from Japan's Toho Co., which has overseen more than 25 "Godzilla" films. Toho will release the pic in Japan.

Legendary said it's planning to announce a director shortly.

In addition to Legendary, producers on the new film will be Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Brian Rogers. Yoshimitsu Banno, Kenji Okuhira and Doug Davison will exec produce.

"Godzilla is one of the world's most powerful pop culture icons, and we at Legendary are thrilled to be able to create a modern epic based on this long-loved Toho franchise," said Thomas Tull, Chairman and CEO of Legendary. "Our plans are to produce the Godzilla that we, as fans, would want to see. We intend to do justice to those essential elements that have allowed this character to remain as pop-culturally relevant for as long as it has."

Legendary noted the film will fall under its co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Legendary's productions with Warners have included "The Dark Knight," "300" and "The Hangover."

Speculation about a new "Godzilla" has been active since last summer. The Bloody Disgusting web site reported in August that the project was in development.