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Day 6: One More Time

11.23.2023

And On day six (November 4) I went back to the movie for my final viewing of Godzilla Minus One in Japan. For me this was a special occasion at a special location, Humax Cinemas in Ikebukuro. Ikebukoro will always be my first place of stay in Japan. I took off from Newark Airport on December 15, 1994, for my first trip. Like then, my latest trip was seven days. And again as I did on my last full day in Japan I watched Godzilla at this Ikebukuro location. Over these 30 years of going to Japan, I’ve returned to this theater to enjoy Godzilla movies time and again. Walking down the long street toward Sunshine City is full of wonderful memories and nostalgia.

Ikebukuro HUMAX Cinemas (Nov 2024)
Ikebukuro HUMAX Cinemas (Nov 2024)

In 1948, Keitsu Corporation, the predecessor of Humax Corporation, was founded by Lin I Wen, on the wish to “Bring joy to people disheartened by war.” Celebrating its 40th anniversary in July 1987, the company name was changes to HUMAX, which means “Maximizing Human Potential.” In 1985, Ikebukuro Gekijo was renovated and the Joypack Building 3. They later became Humax Ikebukuro Shinshine 60-dori.1 Over the years Ikebukuro Humax Cinemas has been the host of many Godzilla events as well. In 1994, I had the balcony and theater of the Humax Pavilion to myself to enjoy Godzilla vs SpaceGodzilla one more time before returning home. This year, about a week before I arrived in Japan, Godzilla Directors Hideaki Anno and Takashi Yamazaki held a talk show there. So when I arrived for the 9:45 show there autographed shikishi boards were on display at the theater entrance. With my half-and-half popcorn and soda, I took my seat in aisle I, seat 21, one more time for Godzilla Minus One.

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Shikishi boards autographed by Godzilla Directors Hideaki Anno and Takashi Yamazaki at Ikebukuro HUMAX Cinemas

The third time around was the charm. Godzilla Minus One is the best. Godzilla never looked better. Yamazaki knocked the ball out of the park. Everyone headed to the theater next week, get your popcorn, kick your shoes off, and enjoy a treat. And take along some tissues.

References

1 History of HUMAX