One and only movie theater in Miyako-jima on verge of closing

One and only movie theater in Miyako-jima on verge of closing

Digitalization in movie theaters has pushed Cinema Panic Miyakojima to the verge of closing. Taira, Miyako-jima on December 10.

December 11, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

Digitalization has affected many movie theaters. Now on the verge of closing, Cinema Panic Miyakojima has been the only theater in the Miyako area in Japan’s extreme south to contribute to cinema culture. It would cost 10 million yen to convert it to a digital system. This is a figure the theater cannot cover by itself, so on December 10 it started raising money.

The head of the theater, Masanobu Shimoji, said, “I would like people out there to help us keep the theater going by donating towards the cost of the digitalization.”

Cinema Panic Miyakojima opened in 2005 after refurbishing the old Miyako Kokueikan theater. Since then the new theater has screened a diverse range of films.

Production of film came to an end last September. After that, the movie industry rapidly switched to digital data, making it difficult for the theater to screen movies that will attract large audiences. In these difficult circumstances, the theater heard that several small theaters in other parts of Japan had started raising money to convert to a digital cinema system. It decided to do the same, aiming to raise 10 million yen to buy and maintain a digital system.

When he was just a junior high school student, Ryugo Nakamura directed the film Yagi no bouken (The Catcher on the Shore) and screened it in the theater. Nakamura will assist in creating a promotional video to help raise the money they need. In addition, the theater will collect messages of support from Miyako citizens and well-known figures and display them. Shimoji said, “I want this project to succeed so we can keep our passion for movies alive on Miyako-jima.”

The theater will accept the donations until the end of March, 2014.
It plans to put 100 collection boxes in the theater and at convenience stores around the city.

For further details, call Cinema Panic Miyakojima at 098 (075) 3215 or access its website at
The bank account details for donations are as follows:

Okinawa Bank Miyako Branch/branch code: 501, checking account: 2094752 (Masanobu Shimoji, President of Cinema Panic Miyakojima Limited)
Japan Post Bank/code:17040, number:10488971 (Cinema Panic Miyakojima Limited)

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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