Imperial Theatre (Teikoku Gekijo)
The Imperial Theatre (Teikoku Gekijo, or "Teigeki"), facing the Imperial Palace, was Japan's first Western-style performance venue, and has been an imposing presence in the Marunouchi district of Tokyo since 1911.
The Teigoku Gekijo was built by the entertainment company, Toho, in 1911, originally in Renaissance style architecture. It quickly became a renowned venue for opera and ballet, mainly from overseas, and domestically produced kabuki and Western drama performances.
The Theatre went through various visicissitudes during the first few decades of its existence, being rebuilt in 1924 after a fire caused by the Great Tokyo Earthquake of the year before, changing hands a few times, and becoming a cinema in the 1950s. It was rebuilt in 1966 in its present form, and relaunched with a production of Gone with the Wind.
The Theater seats an audience of almost 1,900 people, and produces an average of ten performances a year, mainly blockbuster musicals such as Gone with the Wind, The Man of La Mancha, Les Miserables, Miss Saigon and My Fair Lady.
The stage technology of the Theater is impressive, with six underground floors of hydraulically raised and lowered revolving stages.
Since its 1966 rebuilding, the Teikoku Gekijo has also housed the headquarters of the oil company, Idemitsu Kosan, including the company's Idemitsu Museum of Arts on the building's 9th floor. (See what's on now at the Idemitsu Museum of Arts.)
The Teikoku Gekijo is within easy access from five local stations. In order of proximity:
Hibiya Station (Toei Mita Subway Line), 1 minute
Yurakucho Station (Yurakucho Subway Line), 1 minute
Hibiya Station (Chiyoda Subway Line), 4 minutes
Nijubashimae Station (Chiyoda Subway Line), 4 minutes
Hibiya Station (Hibiya Subway Line), 4 minutes
All the above stations offer direct underground access via Exit B3
JR Yurakucho Station (Yamanote Line), International Forum Exit, 3 minutes.
Imperial Theater (Teikoku Gekijo)
3-1-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku