Recently, Tsukaguchi SUN SUN Theater has relaunched its cheer screening events (ouen jouei), and I knew that I just had to visit the place. For those not familiar with the concept of cheer screening, please take a look at this article about the evolution of Japanese theaters.
It’s already been several months since the theater stopped holding cheer screening events, and because cheer screening is extremely addictive, I suppose that there were already some people beginning to experience withdrawal symptoms.
During my visit, I had the chance to take a quick tour of the theater and sit down for a small interview with the owner.
About Tsukaguchi SUN SUN Theater
The theater was built back in December 1953 in Tsugaguchi (Amagasaki city, Hyogo prefecture). It’s independently operated, which is quite unusual by today’s standards since most movies are screened in major cinema complex buildings.
The theater is famous for its exciting events. It’s always easier to connect with the people when you are an independent venue. The theater is a great place to visit even if you live far from it. Watching a movie in this theater is an experience that you don’t want to miss. It’s like old times.
The unique tagline of the theater tries to focus on its long history and its contribution to the local community: ‘A movie theater you can even visit with your apron on.’
Today, the theater is properly equipped to hold some exciting cheer screenings. In this theater, there are top-notch extra bass woofer speakers installed that give an incredible sounds experience. You can read more about this acoustic setup here.
Tickets get sold out in a few seconds
Even though the theater recently launched an online platform where the pre-sell the tickets three days before the screenings, the tickets get sold out within a few seconds! The theater is very popular and at first I was afraid we weren’t going to find any tickets. We finally managed to get some and then headed straight for the theater.
Tsukaguchi SUN SUN Theater: Interview with the owner
Before the screening, we had the chance to hear the owner’s burning passion towards KING OF PRISMby PrettyRhythm. The basement press room was already filled with it.
He told us that he keeps all the messages and illustrations from fans who gathered at the previous screening events and displays them in this room. According to the owner, all the decorations were done by the theater’s staff members.
Q: We can clearly see that Tsukaguchi SUN SUN Theater focuses on an audio environment. What prompted you to focus there?
A: Our first installment of deep bass speakers was for MAD MAX back in August 2015. At that time, we just rented them, but since we were going to have our equipment updated soon, we decided to buy and install our own deep bass woofer speakers.
During the time we were screening Girls und Panzer, we had the great opportunity to have the anime’s audio director visit the theater and make some adjustments to the sound settings. I was deeply impressed to learn how sound can dramatically change the experience of a movie.
Q: Could you please share your thoughts behind re-screening KING OF PRISM by PrettyRhythm?
A: KING OF PRISM by PrettyRhythm‘s music is awesome and the live scenes are very impressive.
Since we regularly change our sound settings, there are many things on which we had to reflect after the screenings. I strongly wanted to redeem myself with KING OF PRISM by PrettyRhythm.
Q: As one of the fans of the theater, I’m very happy about re-screening KING OF PRISM by PrettyRhythm as well as re-launching cheer screening events. Please let me know the things that you have focused on for the screening of KING OF PRISM by PrettyRhythm.
A: I believe that the live scenes are very important, so I made some adjustments to make the music come from all directions. Also, I tried my best to maximize the subwoofers’ deep bass sound.
My goal was to make the viewers think, ‘I didn’t know the music was actually like this in these scenes.’ I’m pretty sure that we can suprise the people coming to watch KING OF PRISM by PrettyRhythm for the first time here. I want them to feel like they are watching a live show! I imagined an open-air concert where the bass guitar and drums are more powerful, even if that makes the music get a bit distorted. I focused on ‘Live Sensation’, and I tried to replicate the sound that Over the Rainbow would have in real concert halls like Osaka Castle Hall and Tokyo’s National Stadium.
I paid the most attention to the dance battle scene between Kazuki and Areku (EZ DO DANCE). I wanted to make the highlights as impactful as possible.
We have screened KING OF PRISM by PrettyRhythm three times and we changed our audio settings in all these runs. We change the settings both in regular screenings and cheer screenings, so it means there are a total of six different sound patterns.
I have to mention that the decorations are all handmade. We are happy to offer a variety of ways to enjoy KING OF PRISM. Please enjoy!
Q: You have been using the deep bass woofer screening events for various movies. Are there any criteria for selection?
A: While we select movies depending on our schedule, I’ve got to say its due largely to the fans’ voices.
I often check the fans’ tweets. Since the sequel of KING OF PRISM was announced, I wanted to try some more stuff in the anime, and so I decided to do the re-screening.
We recently screened Royal Space Force, the old work from GAINAX, because of the release of Shin Godzilla and the announcement of the Heisei Gamera series. I wanted to screen original works from directors Anno and Higuchi to show the audience that their visions have not changed at all.
My goal is to show our guests a variety of ways to enjoy movies. Theaters are fun and people should come and see movies on the big screen.
Q: Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. I’m so touched and almost crying. Finally, please share a comment for people overseas.
A: Please come visit us and enjoy our uniquely-tuned audio experience. Thank you!
This movie theater is filled with originality, ingenuity, and love
Having talked with the owner, I could feel the owner’s deep love towards movies and his movie theater.
The movie theater doesn’t just screen today’s trendy movies. It carefully picks movies to be screened by watching each one of them.
The owner is passionate about he line of work he chose and he is just the right person for this wonderful movie theater. It has something that major cinema complex buildings do not have. We are sure tha this historical place in Tsukaguchi is going to continue evolving.
At the end, the owner said with a grin, ‘KING OF PRISM is amazing this time as well. Please stay tuned.’
I wonder what he meant with those words…
In our next article, we’re going to show you the cheer screening, the incredible cosplayers that gathered for the event, and some cute snacks we got at the theater! We’re pretty sure it will make you want to visit Tsukaguchi. Please stay tuned in Manga.Tokyo!
Tsukaguchi SUN SUN Theater
2-1-1-103, Minamitsukaguchi-cho, Amagasaki city, Hyogo prefecture
Tsukaguchi station (Hankyu) take the south ticket gate and walk eastward
I'm a good-for-nothing otaku who works as a freelance web writer.
I live in Kyoto, Japan, but I am so often in Tokyo for anime-related cafes and products that people frequently misunderstood that I live there. Yowamushi Pedal helps me overcome all difficulties. I'm also a huge fan of Touken Ranbu! In order to deliver to you the latest otaku info and trends, I'll keep dwelling in the 2-D world. Thank you very much!