Goodbye Nichigeki


Who can forget the destruction scenes from Godzilla (1954)? Godzilla lands in Tokyo and ravages. Along the way, he smashes many iconic sites including the Wako Clock Tower in Ginza. Those who watched the film at the Nippon Theater (日本劇場), only a short walk down the street from the Wako Building, were in for a frightening and unforgettable surprise when Godzilla appeared right on the outside slashing it with his powerful tail. Take a look!

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The Nippon Theater opened December 24, 1933. It was known as Nichigeki for “Japanese drama” (日劇, にちげき). The theater was to be a high-class movie theater with a large capacity of 4000 people. Its design was innovative for that time with epoch-making architectural elements such as curved out walls, a vast stage, and Art Deco interior. It was run by Nippon Movie Theater Co. Ltd. until Toho rented and took over management. Nippon Theater closed its doors on February 15, 1981, due to its prewar construction and obsolete equipment. The theater was dismantled along with the neighboring Asahi Shimbun Tokyo Headquarters. In its place, the Yurakucho Marion building was constructed along with TOHO Cinemas Nichigeki (TOHOシネマズ 日劇), which inherited its name along with its history.1

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Source: JUNK @xmbhwfqdx

TOHO Cinema Nichigeki was opened in 1984, located in 2-chome, Yuraku-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. It was the home of three theaters, the Nippon Theater, the Nichigeki Toho, and the Nichigeki Plaza, with a total of 2136 seats. Later that year Godzilla returned to the silver screen and like its predecessor, he smashed the theater, shattering its glass exterior and facade. Toho Cinemas Nichigeki closed February 4, 2018. It was in operation for 34 years. Along with the Nippon Theater, together they span 85 years of Japanese cinema history.

Photogallery of Nippon Theater and Yurakucho Center Building with TOHO Cinema Nichigeki

To say their last farewell to their many theater goers over the years, TOHO held the nine-day event「さよなら日劇ラストショウ」“Sayonara Nichigeki Last Show” from January 27 to February 4, 2018. It was the last chance to see the masterpieces there one more time. Many movies were shown throughout the day with all night events such as Star Wars, Toy Story, Back to the Future, Shall we ダンス? and AKIRA. Theater 2 featured Godzilla movies: Godzilla (1954), Godzilla Raids Again, King Kong vs. Godzilla, Mothra vs Godzilla, Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Godzilla (1984), Godzilla vs Biollante, Godzilla vs Mothra, Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla, Godzilla vs Space Godzilla, Godzilla vs Destoroyah, Godzilla 2000 Millennium, Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah Great Monster Total Attack, Godzilla × Mechagodzilla Godzilla Final Wars and Shin Godzilla. The last showings on the final day were Shin Godzilla, Godzilla (1984) and Godzilla (1954).

85年分のありがとうを込めて With thanks for 85 years

さよなら東宝日劇ラストショウ (Goodbye Toho Nichigeki Last Show) since 1933-2018


As of February 4, 2018 (Sunday), we have been the leading Japanese movie theaters. “TOHO Cinemas Nichigeki” will be closed. We will hold a special screening with gratitude for the 85 years of question and patronage. With lineup of works suitable for showing the last, we are looking forward to seeing you there.

Period: January 27, 2018 (above) – February 4, 2018 (Sun)

In the future, we will inherit the “Nichigeki Spirit” and will be born on March 29, 2018. Please look forward to “TOHO Cinemas Hibiya”.


「さよなら日劇ラストショウ」Poster and schedule (Designed by Staff Communications Inc.)

Some showing had guest appearances. Here is Akira Takarada after the final showing of Godzilla (Photo: むらびと @Gila_S5)

On my first trip to Japan in 1994, visiting the TOHO building was a must. In 2016 I stopped there for information on Shin Godzilla tickets. In 2018, I arrived too late to attend the Goodbye Nichigeki Last Show event. I remember seeing tweets celebrating the event and occasion. Recently, I purchased several commemorative items from the event: Nichigeki pamphlet documenting the theater’s history and the Godzilla 1984 film bookmark (ゴジラ(1984) さよなら日劇ラストショウ, approx. 9.5 x 3.5 cm).

TOHO Nichigeki Theater was full of wonderful memories for Japanese moviegoers. Seeing the theater close was no doubt a great loss. New memories are being made at new TOHO theaters in the area. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of many wonderful Godzilla movie memories in Tokyo and across Japan.

1 Source: 日本劇場