One of the most recognizable buildings in Japan, the grand, old Kabuki-za in Ginza is closing this month. It will be torn down and become a theater and office complex with direct connections to the subway station. Be sure to click this link to see a sketch of the planned exterior. It's the third image on the page, you can't miss it.
The Kabuki-za opened in 1889. The current theater was built in 1951 after the previous building was burned down by U.S. Air Forces during World War II.
Shochiku Company, Limited, the landowner and operator of the theater started talks of rebuilding in 2005. The main reason given for the construction is that the building doesn't have sufficient protection against natural disasters, especially earthquakes.
The theater, a cultural landmark, is registered as a Tangible Cultural Property.
Shochiku ran a series of “farewell performances”. Yoko Ishikura lined up for one and remarks:
I thoroughly enjoyed watching both shows, and did not mind standing for over 3.5 hours altogether. Beauty and art is so inspiring that you feel that the life is worth living.
An electronic countdown clock was set up in front of the theatre, where many people took photos. Yuzu says:
How will we feel in 2013 when the renovation is complete and we gaze up towards the 20+ office floors glittering right above our beloved Kabuki-za?
Blogger gohermes is reminded of The Executive Centre Tokyo Bankers Club Building (東京銀行協会ビル) in the Marunouchi area. This building has the unfortunate moniker of “scab architecture” (かさぶた建築) and Kyo wonders:
Again, here's the link of the new Kabuki-za.