It’s hard to believe that Godzilla is celebrating his 60th birthday this week. The original black-and-white film was released  on November 3, 1954, and has since then spawned a whole franchise of subsequent movies and become a recognizable pop culture icon across the world.

To commemorate everybody’s favorite havoc-wreaking monster, a full screening of the original 1954 film accompanied by a live orchestral performance of the musical score will be held on Sunday, January 18 next year at Tokyo’s NHK Hall. What better way to ring in the new year than with a blast from cinematic history past?

The program for the 60th anniversary Godzilla Music Festival (生誕60周年記念 ゴジラ音楽祭) will be split into two parts. The first part will feature a live performance of “Symphonic Fantasia No. 1” (SF交響ファンタジー第1番; otherwise known as the main Godzilla theme), which was composed by the prolific Akira Ifukube. The Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra will perform this piece, led by composer/conductor Kaoru Wada, who happens to be an apprentice of the late Ifukube. There will also be a “talk show” segment featuring Akira Takarada, an actor who starred in the original 1954 and several subsequent Godzilla films, along with Shiro Sano, who starred in some of the more recent films. The second part of the program will consist of a full screening of the original 1954 Godzilla film accompanied once again by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and female chorus Chor June. In addition, all event-goers will receive a special commemorative film bookmark upon entry.

According to event sponsor Toho Music, a similar Godzilla screening event to honor Ifukube held this past July at the Tokyo Opera City Tower was sold out, so you should order your tickets as soon as possible. Seats are priced according to three different groups, at 6,500 yen (US$57.23), 7,500 yen ($66.06), or 8,500 yen ($74.83) per seat. Promax Inc. supplies links on its website to three different vendors in Japan where you can buy your tickets (Japanese only, sorry).

Doors at the NHK Hall will open at 4:15pm and the program will begin at 5pm on January 18. This will be an event that both longtime Godzilla fans and newcomers alike can appreciate, so dig out your nostalgic, rubber reptilian suit and get pumped!


Original article by Anji Tabata
Sources/Images: Promax Inc., Toho Music
[ Read in Japanese ]