Minamimachi Cineplex

3-8-11 Namba,
Osaka 542-0076

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Toho Cinemas Ltd.

Previous Names: Minamigai Theater, Minamigai Toho

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Minamimachi Cineplex

This is formerly Osaka’s and Kansai Region’s largest movie theater for a grand total of 51 years.

The Toho chain in January 1938 planned to build the Minami Town Movie Theater as a base for performances, which at the time the districts of Minami were based in Dotonbori by Shochiku and Sennichi Tochi Tatemono in Sennichimae. Unfortunately, because of Toho’s base in Umeda were not able to build a theater there.

Starting life as the Minamigai Theater (or known as both the South Town/South Street Theater), the 1,488-seating capacity first-run theater opened its doors on December 18, 1953. Eight days later, the theater eventually became the first theater in the Kansai Region to install CinemaScope, running its first CinemaScope movie “The Robe” on December 26, 1953.

A second cinema, named the “Minamimachi Cinema” (formerly the short-lived Music Hall was opened nearby in 1959 but it was only used as a recording venue for two MBS television shows. A second cinema would later open next to the Minamigai Theater in 1966.

In 1983, the main auditorium was divided. The 1st floor retained its Minamigai Theater name while the 2nd floor was renamed “Minamigai Toho”. It would eventually become a 5-screen theater. During its 5-screen heyday, some notable American films the 2,484-seat 5-screener ran include “Star Wars” and “Titanic”, and at the time, it was named Minamimachi Cineplex.

However, due to the aging of the building, the final screenings held on February 1, 2004 and the theater closed its doors for the final time that same day. A short time later, the theater was demolished.

Contributed by 50sSNIPES
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