|Look up for a surprise on the way to Toho Cinemas in Shinjuku|
|Small movie house in Shimokitazawa|
|I saw the Love Live! movie here at the Piccadilly cinema in Shinjuku|
A few things about Japanese cinemas that surprised me:
|Ticket stubs are nothing fancy. Notice the letter and number on each ticket for the seating assignment.|
2) Tickets are expensive. I paid 1800yen (about $15) for each film and that's almost twice what I would have paid normally for a movie on Guam. I'm not sure how that compares to other countries but to me it was a little steep...you do get some cool goodies depending on the movie. For the Love Live! movie, they gave me a randomly packed film strip and I got a special little card and handout for The Anthem of the Heart.
|The class in The Anthem of the Heart put on a play and you receive a mock program book and autograph board with all the students' signatures upon entering the theater.|
4) You usually have to wait in the lobby until about 10 or 15 minutes before the movie starts and then they start letting people into the theater. As I mentioned before, seats are assigned so trying to get in early to get seats isn't a big deal.
|Randomly packed film strip I received from the Love Live! movie|
6) Thankfully, previews and advertisements were kept pretty minimal. There were only a few ads and a few previews per film, whereas the cinemas I usually frequent at home are known for serving up so many commercial you run out of popcorn. Then again, maybe it was quality over quantity...the jingles and cartoons at the Toho cinemas were absolutely atrocious, appalling, and easily some of the most uninteresting animated gags I had ever seen in my life. Nobody laughed and I'm thankful I had a whole film ahead of me to forget about them.
That should probably cover anyone fretting about seeing a film in Japan. Whether you're looking to see some Japanese films before they premier anywhere else or simply looking to see a Hollywood film you may have missed, I hope this guide helps.
Stay tuned for my coverage of the films and cinemas I went to in later posts.