Shinjuku Milano Theatre

1-29-1 Kabukicho,
Tokyo 160-0021

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Milano-za-1 Shinjuku Milano

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Opened on 1st December 1956 on the first floor of the Tokyu Milano Building in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo. The opening film was Walter Hampden in “The Vagabond King”. It became a twin screen theatre, and later a quad. It was closed on 31st December 2014.

The short scene during the Live-Action sequence with a panning shot of the inside of a movie theater was taken during a screening of “Evangelion: Death and Rebirth” in the now closed movie theater.

Contributed by Jeffrey Piatt

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50sSNIPES on August 3, 2023 at 7:59 pm

On December 1, 1956, two movie theaters opened on the site of the Shinjuku Tokyo Milano Entertainment Center on the same day. The Shinjuku Milano Theatre is located on the first floor of the Shinjuku Tokyo Milano Entertainment Center and the Shibuya Tokyu Bunka Kaikan is located on the basement section of the center.

The Milano opened with Walter Hampden in “The Vagabond King” with a capacity of 1,500 seats, while the Bunka Kaikan’s grand opening attraction was not known at this time with a capacity of 1,000 seats. Both theaters eventually became a twin (doesn’t mean it counts as a early twin, its just that both theaters opened at the same site that same day).

A third screen with 209 seats was added on the fourth floor of the same complex on November 30, 1971 under the name “Meigaza Milano” which was officially renamed “Cinema Milano” in September 1987, and a fourth screen with 224 seats was added on December 11, 1981 under the name “Cinema Tokyo Milano” located on the third floor.

Some notable films the Milano ran throughout the years include “The Ten Commandments”, “The Sting”, and “Jaws”, but it wasn’t until December 4, 1982 when “ET” hit the screens in Tokyo, and it officially became the biggest smash-hit throughout the Milano Theater’s history, running and stunting the movie for a year-and-a-half throughout the rest of 1982, all of 1983, and a good chunk of 1984.

During its final days of operation, Screen 1 has a capacity of 1,064 seats (the largest screen in Tokyo), while Screen 2 has 588 seats, Screen 3 having 209, and Screen 4 having 224.

On May 13, 2014, Tokyu Recreation announced that all directly managed offices in the main building (Shinjuku Milano + Cinema Square Tokyu 1-4, Shinjuku Milano Bowl, FamilyMart Seibu Shinjuku Ekimae store) will close for the final time. The reason for this is because of the decrease in the number of mobilizations due to the rise of cinema complexes and the aging of buildings.

A special celebration was held under the name “With Love From Shinjuku Milano” from December 20, 2014 until closure on December 31, 2014, screening a mixture of both Japanese and American classics including family films and films that previously ran at the theater.

Screens 3 and 4 closed for the final time on December 30, 2014 with the two-part Japanese “Neon Genesis Evangelion” theatrical film of Episodes 25 and 26 at Screen 3, and the 1974 Steve McQueen classic “The Towering Inferno” at Screen 4.

Screens 1 and 2 held on for one more day with the 1960 Steve McQueen classic “The Magnificent Seven” at Screen 1, and the 1982 classic that once topped the history of the Shinjuku Milano Theatre, “E.T.”, at Screen 2. The entire theater closed for the final time on December 31, 2014.

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