Past Exhibitions

  • April 12 , 2022 - July 17, 2022

Movie Theatres in Japan


Exhibition Gallery (7th floor)
April 12 , 2022 - July 17, 2022
11:00am – 6:30pm (admission until 6:00pm)
*Last Friday of every month: 11:00am – 8:00pm (admission until 7:30pm)
Mondays , May 24(Tue) -May 27(Fri)
Regular¥250 (Group Admission ¥200) / University & College Students ¥130 (Group Admission ¥60)
*Free for Seniors (age 65 or over), High School Students and under 18, Disabled People (with one companion)
*By showing NFAJ's screening ticket or purchase confirmation email for online ticket, Group Admission fee will be applied.
*Free on May 18, International Museum Day.

Please take a look at NFAJ's visitor guidelines and infection prevention measures before your visit.
For more detailed information, please see the following page (in Japanese) .


Today, most movie theaters in Japan are multiplexes, economically efficient facilities that fit many screens into one location. All but gone are the large, grand theaters of the days when movies were the king of entertainment and the small movie houses found in just about every city. Nearly 120 years have passed since Japan's first permanent movie theater opened in Tokyo’s Asakusa district. How have the spaces for enjoying movies changed since then?

Through earthquakes, war, reconstruction, and economic prosperity, the mere act of “watching a movie in a theater” has evolved with the nation’s shifting social landscape. Changes in the ways people live their lives have also left their mark. This exhibition examines the “history of movie audiences” in Japan before the advent of the multiplex―from the birth of the Japan’s first theaters and the film industry’s development to the era of the “art house”―through cinema photographs, programs, magazines and books, and actual movie theater artifacts. It presents precious entertainment materials from the past to illustrate the relationship between movie theaters and audiences, using two major cities (Kawasaki and Kitakyushu) as examples. And it gives special attention to the transformation of movie theater architecture as well as film projection skills that are ordinarily behind the scenes.

More and more, online streaming is becoming the preferred way of enjoying movies. Meanwhile, the movie theater business faces difficult times amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In that context, this exhibition provides an excellent opportunity for becoming reacquainted with what it means for people to gather in movie theaters and for reassessing the power of film through the movie theater experience.

National Film Archive of Japan

3-7-6 Kyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0031

Tel: 047-316-2772(Hello Dial)