Digital cinemas will open in autumn 2008

Shochiku is demolishing its 47-year-old flagship theater in Tokyo’s Shinjuku entertainment district to build a $52 million, 10-screen multiplex.

Construction will start in June and the plex will open in autumn 2008.

With 12 floors above ground and two below, the plex will seat 2,300 — 50% more than the current theater. The projection system will be fully digital.

Shochiku operates 20 multiplexes in Japan and intends to build five more.

Most of the Shochiku sites, together with those of rivals Toho and Warner Mycal, were built in under-screened suburbs and provincial cities.

But the success of the nine-screen Toho Virgin Cinemas Roppongi Hills plex in downtown Tokyo, which opened in 2003, has encouraged more urban multiplexes.

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