You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Shochiku will shutter theme park

Victim of recession belt tightening

TOKYO — Japanese movie studio Shochiku Co. said it will shut down its Tokyo area movie theme park as it lops off all but its core operations in order to cut costs.

Shochiku’s Kamakura Cinema World will shut down Dec. 15, a little over three years after it opened. Located about 90 minutes by train from Tokyo in the ancient city of Kamakura, the studio had been hit by declining attendance brought about by Japan’s recession.

The movie theme park was the first of its kind in Japan, and it was one of the many projects of former president Toru Okuyama that has been cut by the company’s new management. Okuyama and his son Kazuyoshi were ousted in a boardroom coup in January.

According to national broadcaster NHK, Kamakura Cinema World lost 1.6 billion yen ($13.3 million) for the business year that ended Feb. 28.

Trimming losses

In a statement, Shochiku said the loss of the theme park should cut its sales by about $2.75 million but help it trim net losses by $2.58 million for the business year that ends in February 1999. Shochiku is projecting a pretax net loss of $28.1 million for the business year ending in February.

Kamakura Cinema World was opened in 1995 on the 100th anniversary of Shochiku. The studio was built at a cost of $125 million and was expected to attract about 2 million visitors a year. It was supposed to be in the black after one year in operation, but Shochiku never came close to meeting its attendance and revenue projections figures.

Shochiku’s scaled-down version of Disneyland combined exhibits on Japanese movies, Kabuki drama and other attractions. It had a Hollywood Street area along with an area devoted to the “Tora-san” film series as well as rides.

Amusement park visitors, however, packed the gates at Tokyo Disneyland at record levels during Japan’s economic slump while virtually shunning the homegrown movie theme park.

Tightening focus

Shochiku’s new management is focusing the company’s attention on its movie production and distribution operations as well as Kabuki theatricals.

Earlier in the year, reports surfaced that Shochiku would dissolve its partnership with multiplex developer Cinemark Intl. of the U.S. to build theaters in Japan.

Shochiku will buy out the 26.66% share Cinemark has in the venture called Shochiku Cinemark Theaters, and will bring its own equity stake in the Japanese multiplex company to 53%, the financial daily Nihon Keizai reported, citing Shochiku sources.

More Biz

  • Desus Nice, The Kid Mero. Desus

    'Desus and Mero' Duo to Receive Bronx Cheer at Museum Gala

    Daniel Baker and Joel Martinez, the pair better known as Desus and Mero, are set to receive a hometown salute on March 2 when they will be honored along with others by the Bronx Museum. The hosts of the Showtime late-nighter “Desus and Mero” will be included as part of the museum’s Visionary Duos gala [...]

  • Lewis Capaldi

    Lewis Capaldi Signs Rights Deal With Kobalt

    Kobalt today announced that it has signed Lewis Capaldi to an international neighboring rights deal. The Capitol recording artist was previously represented by PPL for international collections. Ann Tausis, CEO of Kobalt Neighboring Rights, commented on the deal, “Lewis’s ascent to the top has been breathtaking. His emotive songs and charming social media presence have [...]

  • Boris Johnson Grants China's Huawei Limited

    Boris Johnson Grants China's Huawei Limited Role in Britain's 5G Network

    The British government, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has defied pressure from President Trump’s administration and decided to allow Chinese tech giant Huawei to supply equipment for its 5G network. However, Huawei will not be allowed to provide equipment to “sensitive parts” of the network, known as the core. Additionally, it will only be [...]

  • Village Roadshow Studios Queensland

    Australia’s Village Roadshow Receives Second Takeover Bid

    Australian studios, cinemas and theme parks group Village Roadshow Limited has received a tentative takeover bid from private equity firm BGH. The bid follows a December offer from another funds group, Pacific Equity Partners. The earlier offer valued VRL at A$3.90 per share. BGL’s proposal is for a bid worth A$4 per share, payable in [...]

  • Us Basketball Team Players Lebron James

    LeBron James Breaks Silence on Kobe's Death: 'I'm Heartbroken and Devastated'

    In a heartfelt Instagram post, LeBron James broke his silence on the tragic death of Kobe Bryant late Monday, saying he was “heartbroken and devastated.” “Sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try, I begin crying again thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship, bond and brotherhood we [...]

  • Investigators work the scene of a

    Pilot in Kobe Bryant Crash Said He Was Trying to Get Above Clouds

    The pilot of the helicopter that crashed on Sunday, killing Kobe Bryant and eight others, radioed to the tower that he was trying to get above the clouds shortly before the crash, an NTSB official said Monday. Jennifer Homendy, a board member of the National Transportation Safety Board, said that the agency would look at [...]

  • Kobe Bryant Dead

    Lakers-Clippers Game Postponed In Wake of Kobe Bryant's Death

    UPDATED: This post was updated with TNT’s plans to air a tribute to Bryant.  Tuesday night’s game between the Lakers and Clippers has been postponed indefinitely following the death of Kobe Bryant on Sunday. In a statement, the NBA league office said, “The decision was made out of respect for the Lakers organization, which is [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content