A sure-fire way to lure moviegoers back to theatres after the height of the pandemic.

It’s been just over two months since Japan was placed under a state of emergency to help stop the spread of coronavirus. During that time, all sorts of entertainment venues like theme parks, galleries, live houses and movie theatres were closed, and as people sheltered in place they couldn’t help but wonder if those little luxuries they took for granted would ever be the same again.

Now, the country is slowly opening back up, cautiously testing the waters of the new normal as people are being allowed to gather in increasingly larger groups. Whether people feel safe enough to congregate with others in enclosed public spaces is a whole other story, though, so every effort is being made to entice people back to the places they once loved again.

One of those places is the cinema, and the country’s leading movie theatre chain, Toho Cinemas, has just secured a distribution deal that looks set to have audiences filling seats around the country. Starting from 26 June, four Studio Ghibli movies will be on the big screen at 372 cinemas around the country.

▼ The announcement was made on the official Ghibli Museum Twitter account with the blurb, “Once in a lifetime, Ghibli at the cinema.”

The four movies being screened for the “Once in a lifetime, Ghibli at the cinema” event are:

  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
  • Princess Mononoke
  • Spirited Away
  • Tales from Earthsea

As soon as the announcement was made, fans couldn’t hold back their excitement at hearing the news.

“Is this a dream??????????”
“The only thing that would make this better is if they screened Laputa and My Neighbour Totoro as well.”
“They should make this a recurrent thing and do it once every ten years.”
“I watch the films when they’re shown on TV but parts are cut in the TV versions so I can’t wait for this!”
“It’s a special experience to see a Ghibli film on the big screen!”

With Japan being one of three countries (along with the U.S. and Canada) specifically excluded from the recent Ghibli release on Netflix, which was available in 190 countries, Japanese audiences are extra excited for the upcoming cinema showings.

Toho theatres hasn’t announced an end date for the movie run, so here’s hoping the Ghibli magic stays with us all summer long. After all, we’ve got the matching T-shirts to wear for all the films being shown, bar one.

Source: Studio Ghibli via Toho Cinemas via Cinema Today via Yahoo! News via Jin 
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