11 prefectures will see cinemas re-open this week
Before the Japanese government canceled the State of Emergency in 39 prefectures earlier today, it was announced earlier this week that select movie theaters would reopen in 11 prefectures over this week, with the majority of the selected cinemas reopening on May 15. This will be the first time cinemas have opened in Japan in a little over a month.
The closures of cinemas started in late March when Tokyo's governor Yuriko Koike asked businesses to close during the weekends, which postponed the release of the third Fate/stay night [Heaven's Feel] anime film. While some cinema's reopening in prefectures where the State of Emergency has been lifted, the major metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Osaka, and their surrounding prefectures remain closed, likely continuing the delay of new films.
To combat this, the select cinemas will be showing popular films from the past, including the Makoto Shinkai masterpieces, Your Name. and Weathering with You, Shin Godzilla, Academy Award winner Parasite, classic anime film Akira, the English dubbed version of Promare with Japanese subs, Yowamushi Pedal The Movie, and many more.
All the cinemas will be abiding by social distancing rules by only allowing every second cinema seat to be bought, making people use hand sanitizer, advising people to wear masks, or in the case of Cinema Sunshine, refusing entry to those without masks, and requesting people from outside prefectures to refrain from going to the cinema – in some cases refusing entry to those from outside prefectures, though how this will be done is not known.
Cinemas being opened this week are:
TOHO Cinemas -
- TOHO Cinemas Oirase Shimoda (Aomori Prefecture)
- TOHO Cinemas Sendai (Miyagi Prefecture)
- TOHO Cinemas Utsunomiya (Tochigi Prefecture)
- TOHO Cinemas Hamamatsu (Shizuoka Prefecture)
- TOHO Cinemas Sun Street Hamakita (Shizuoka Prefecture)
- TOHO Cinemas LaLaport Iwata (Shizuoka Prefecture)
- TOHO Cinemas Niihama (Ehime Prefecture)
- TOHO Cinemas Kochi (Kochi Prefecture)
- TOHO Cinemas Nagasaki (Nagasaki Prefecture)
- TOHO Cinemas Yojiro (Kagoshima Prefecture)
Cinema Sunshine -
- Cinema Sunshine Numazu (Shizuoka Prefecture)
- Cinema Sunshine Shimonoseki (Yamaguchi Prefecture)
- Cinema Sunshine Numazu LaLaport (Shizuoka Prefecture)
- Cinema Sunshine Okaido (Ehime Prefecture)
- Cinema Sunshine Kinuyama (Ehime Prefecture)
- Cinema Sunshine Shigenobu (Ehime Prefecture)
- Cinema Sunshine emifull MASAKI(Ehime Prefecture)
- Cinema Sunshine Kitajima (Tokushima Prefecture)
- Cinema Sunshine Aira (Kagoshima Prefecture)
Korona World -
- Aomori Korona World (Aomori Prefecture)
- Fukuyama Korona World (Hiroshima Prefecture)
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs the YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.