• Japan In Focus

Fukuoka: Movie Theater Reopens, Rising from Ashes of 2022 Fire

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Tomomi Higuchi, left, owner of the Kokura Showakan movie theater, reacts as she greets visitors at the facility in Kitakyushu on Dec. 8.

KITAKYUSHU — A long-established movie theater that was destroyed by a fire in August last year has reopened in Kokurakita Ward in Kitakyushu.

The Kokura Showakan theater was razed by a fire that struck the city’s Tanga Market. Although the theater, established in 1939, was not the source of the fire, it was engulfed by flames and burned down.

After the fire, about 17,000 signatures were collected to support the reopening. Many celebrities including renowned movie stars supported the theater’s reconstruction.

A special event was held on Dec. 8 at the theater for residents and others who had applied to participate in the gathering. Theater owner Tomomi Higuchi celebrated the reopening with about 100 people.

“It’s thanks to all of you that this small, local movie theater was able to get back on its feet in such a short period of time even after it lost everything, with movie theaters closing all over the country,” Higuchi said.

The new theater has one screen and 134 seats. The cost was about ¥100 million for the interior alone. The reconstruction was partly funded with about ¥40 million raised through nationwide crowdfunding.