Printer Friendly

WARNER BROS., JAPANESE RETAILER NICHII AND KMD ARCHITECTS BRING HOLLYWOOD MOVIEGOING EXPERIENCE TO SUBURBAN JAPAN

 EBINA, Japan, June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- If Warner Bros. and Japanese retailer Nichii had their druthers in launching the first of their new, multi-screen theaters to dot suburban Japan, they would resurrect Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to recreate the style and elegance of American moviegoing in the 1930s and 1940s.
 Barring that, the 2,000-seat theaters, designed by West Coast architecture firm Kaplan/McLaughlin/Diaz must rely on glamour and convenient locations -- plus action movie hero Steven Seagal -- to attract hard-to-please Japanese audiences.
 Seagal, along with popular Japanese actress Yoko Shimada, was on hand for the recent gala opening of Warner-Mycal Cinema 7 in Ebina, a suburb of Tokyo. The theater opened with a special screening of Seagal's latest film "Under Siege."
 Warner-Mycal is a joint venture of Osaka-based Nichii Co., Ltd., one of the largest retailers in Japan, and Warner Bros. International Theatres Co. The Warmer-Mycal venture is believed to be the first major push of the cineplex, an American phenomenon, into the Japanese market. The cineplexes will show a variety of productions including Japanese and American motion pictures.
 Last year, San Francisco-based Kaplan/McLaughlin/Diaz Architects (KMD) was selected by Warner-Mycal Corporation of Japan to design the first of three of over 30 multi-screen theaters in a 10-year construction venture.
 "Traditionally, movie attendance has been lower in Japan than the U.S. partly because of a lack of free time and because movie theaters have been located in downtown areas, making it difficult for suburban families to get to them," said KMD Principal Herb McLaughlin. "But that is changing. Recent trends show that the Japanese are valuing their leisure more and are spending less time at school or the office -- and more time in the suburbs where an increasing number now live."
 By placing its new theaters, which have plenty of parking, in Nichii's suburban shopping centers, Warner-Mycal hopes to capture and captivate this growing suburban audience.
 A second KMD-designed Warner-Mycal theater has also just opened on Higashi Kishiwada, near Osaka. A third is under construction in Takaoka, which is located in the western part of Honshu (opening October 1993). The architectural firm, which devotes about 10 percent of its practice to Japanese projects, has been selected by Warner-Mycal to design six more cineplexes in locations throughout Japan during the coming year.
 "Our charge was to create simple but striking theater designs that evoke drama and a sense of being somewhere special," said McLaughlin.
 At Ebina and Higashi Kishiwada, one of KMD's design elements is a supersized "oculus," a round window eight meters (about 26 feet) in diameter allowing moviegoers inside and outside the theater's two-story lobby to see and be seen. In the Ebina theater, a connecting stairway sweeps across the opening, adding a visually dynamic element to the overall composition.
 Creative neon algnage, custom centerpiece lighting in the lobby and coved "floating" ceilings in the main circulation areas also add drama to the 44,000 square foot Ebina theater.
 "While the design may echo that of the 1930s and 1940s movie palaces," McLaughlin said, "the technology is thoroughly up to date. The largest theaters are the first THX certified movie auditoriums in Japan, incorporating state-of-the-art projection, seating, sound and acoustic technology."
 New York-based Warner Bros International Theatres Co., a subsidiary of Time Warner Entertainment Inc., has developed and operates multiscreen theater projects in Australia and Europe.
 KMD, with offices in San Francisco, Tokyo, Nagoya, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Seattle and Portland, is presently design architect for several other commercial projects in Japan including the $350 million International Design Center in Nagoya and the 240-room Royal Washington Hotel in Hiroshima.
 -0- 6/14/93
 /CONTACT: Michael Fineman of Fineman Associates, 415-391-4744, for Kaplan/McLaughlin/Diaz Architects/


CO: Warner Bros. International Theaters Co.; Nichii Co. Ltd.;
 Warner-Mycal Corporation ST: IN: ENT SU:


TM-SM -- NY006 -- 1674 06/14/93 13:00 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1993 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 14, 1993
Words:643
Previous Article:AMERICAN PACIFIC CORPORATION DISCUSSES RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN PENDING AMMONIUM PERCHLORATE PROCUREMENT
Next Article:ACORN ANNOUNCES THAT IT HAS SIGNED A LETTER OF INTENT TO ACQUIRE RECTICON ENTERPRISES, INC.
Topics:


Related Articles
TOM NAKAJIMA NAMED MANAGING DIRECTOR, JAPAN, WARNER BROS. CONSUMER PRODUCTS
DAVID M. ALLEN NAMED MANAGING DIRECTOR, WARNER-MYCAL
JAPANESE RETAILER NICHII SUED FOR FRAUD BY DESIGNER AMBASZ
WARNER BROS., FUJI TELEVISION NETWORK ANNOUNCE PACT WITH OUTLAW PRODUCTIONS ON MULTIFEATURE FILM DEAL
WARNER BROS. TO SHOW TOSHIBA PRODUCTS IN WARNER BROS. STUDIO STORES NATIONWIDE
WARNER BROS. STUDIO STORES PARTNERS WITH QVC AND TUNES IN TO A NEW AGE OF ELECTRONIC RETAILING
SPORTMART OPENS LARGEST STORE OF ITS KIND IN JAPAN; NICHII COMPANY IS POWERFUL PARTNER
WARNER BROS. PLANS 4-FLOOR GINZA SITE.
Award-Winning Animation Veterans Form New Media Venture; phuuz entertainment Principals Eric Radomski, Ken Duer, and Jay Francis Cater to the Tastes...
KMD's CHA Hospital, Korea Wins 2008 AIA National Healthcare Award.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters