Left Menu
Development News Edition

At the movies: 'Ben Hur' and 'Wizard of Oz' as Japan reopens

Reuters | Tokyo | Updated: 19-05-2020 12:11 IST | Created: 19-05-2020 11:57 IST
At the movies: 'Ben Hur' and 'Wizard of Oz' as Japan reopens
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI

The chariots of 1959 epic "Ben Hur" and the yellow brick road of 1939 fantasy "The Wizard of Oz" is back on the big screen in Japan as cinemas begin reopening from the coronavirus crisis with a slate heavy on Hollywood classics. James Dean starrer "East of Eden" (1955), crime drama "Bonnie and Clyde" (1969) and disaster film "The Towering Inferno" (1974) are among other titles playing, after Japanese chain, Toho Cinemas reopened 10 of its 66 theatres in areas deemed relatively safe from the coronavirus.

The unit of Toho Co, which also runs a film studio, said it would reopen 23 more cinemas on Friday in prefectures where the government has lifted the state of emergency. Cinemas in Tokyo remain shut.

Toho Cinemas, which had closed all of its theatres as of April 18, has implemented safety measures including keeping every other seat empty and making staff and customers wear masks. Reopening theatres leads to another challenge, however: what films to show after movie studios delayed new releases because of the pandemic?

Toho's reopened theatres mostly offer a mix of old Hollywood, recent Japanese hits and holdovers like Oscar-winning "Parasite" that was in cinemas before the closures, although that mix varied between theatres, its website showed. It's Sendai cinema in northern Japan on Tuesday was screening the American classics mentioned as well as neo-noir sci-fi classic "Blade Runner" (1982), prison drama "The Shawshank Redemption" (1994) and several Japanese films including "Shin Godzilla" (2016).

It's Sun Street Hamakita theatre in central Japan's Shizuoka skewed more towards local films headlined by multiple screenings of Makoto Shinkai's animation megahit "Your Name" (2016) and his follow-up "Weathering With You" (2019). But Sun Street Hamakita was also showing Steven Spielberg's sci-fi classic "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" (1982), romantic drama "An Officer and a Gentleman" (1982) and musical "West Side Story" (1961).

Western "Rio Bravo" (1959), starring John Wayne, was also playing in some theatres. Asked about the selection of films on show, a Toho official simply said: "We're playing films that are popular."



Why COVID-19 is unstoppable in USA despite it being ranked at the top of GHS Index?

Several worst-hit countries such as Italy, France, Spain, the UK, Canada, and Russia have peaked COVID-19 cases in April. Almost all of them have gradually flattened the curve. However, the USA is setting new daily records of infections tha...

COVID-19 seems cooking biggest ever global scam

The increasing number of corruption cases on COVID-19 funds from throughout the world and involvement of high profile persons indicate that the countries cant ignore corruption in their pandemic response programs. This has generated the nee...

Health Management Information Systems lack holistic, integrated, and pandemic resilient character

Being a part of the United Nations system, the World Health Organization WHO deserves its share of rebuke for its alleged failure issue COVID-19 health emergency alerts on appropriate time. However, the pandemic has also exposed loopholes i...

Pride in the time of coronavirus: a welcome move online?

This year is different in many ways not least as celebrations are also taking place against the dramatic backdrop of a global health crisis and a resurgence in grassroots activism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. ...


Latest News

U.S. withdrawal from WHO over claims of China influence to take effect July 2021 -U.N.

The United States will leave the World Health Organization WHO on July 6, 2021, the United Nations said on Tuesday, after receiving notification of the decision by President Donald Trump, who has accused the agency of becoming a puppet for ...

2 detained in Faridabad in connection with Kanpur encounter

Two persons have been detained in Faridabad in connection to the Kanpur encounter in which 8 police personnel lost their lives.Special Task Force STF of Uttar Pradesh detained a relative of Kanpur encounter main accused history-sheeter Vika...

5-day shutdown in urban areas of Odisha's Ganjam from July 9

Five-day complete shutdown will be in place in all urban areas and five block headquarters of Ganjam from July 9-13, according to Ganjam Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange. During the shutdown period, essential services will continue.According ...

Govt targeting Priyanka Gandhi as she is strongest opponent: Ajay Maken

Slamming Centre over eviction notice to Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, party leader Ajay Maken on Tuesday said that the government is targeting her as she is the strongest opponent member and raising her voice on the impo...

Give Feedback