Rainy days continue here in Tokyo since June is rainy season. So watching a movie at movie theater seems like a perfect plan on a rainy day. However, do you think movie tickets in Japan is pricey? I definitely think so! Regular movie ticket price for an adult starts from 1,800 yen. In addition, imagine you get concession food like popcorn and drink, and that will easily add another 1,000 yen. Therefore, going to movie theater isn’t a cheap hobby in Japan. Nevertheless, I watch movies for 1,000 yen at movie theater and I would like to share the information!
Cinema City One and Two
I watch movies at Cinema City which is a movie theater complex located in the west area of Tokyo called Tachikawa. I like it more than one of those large movie theater companies like TOHO, because it’s not as crowded and it has its unique styles as a local movie theater. But not only that, they offer cheaper ticket price too!
Cinema City consists of two separate movie theaters called Cinema One (シネマ・ワン) and Cinema Two (シネマ・ツー). Cinema One was first opened in 1994 and Cinema Two opened 10 years later in 2004. Wikipedia
They are not located next to each other. From Cinema One to Cinema Two is about 3 minutes by walk.
Furthermore, movies played at each movie theater are different.
Cinema City is aiming to become the ultimate movie theater and making continuous investment. For example, they adopted curved screen and eliminated curtains. Lighting are designed in special way. Above all, they are especially popular for their high quality sound system. They recently renewed their speaker systems for even better sound systems.
What I like about Cinema City
Here are the reasons I recommend Cinema City.
High quality sound system
It’s true that the screen size is smaller than those at TOHO, etc. But sound system is very high quality. I was recommended to watch Bohemian Rhapsody here due to its excellent sound system. Nevertheless, I watched Avengers: Endgame instead, and it was true. Their sound system was really good!!
Smaller movie theater with style
Especially each screen of Cinema One has different theme so you will notice difference when you enter the lobby of each screen. It’s not like one of those large movie theater where everywhere looks exactly the same. You should go check it out yourself!
Easy online ticket system
You can purchase movie ticket online. If you sign up for Cinema Citizen program, you will get a special discount (I wrote details about it further down.) Nevertheless, even if you do not sign up for Cinema Citizen program, you can still purchase movie tickets online.
When you arrive at the movie theater, there are many machines where you can scan a bar code sent to you when you purchased movie ticket online. It’s very easy. You just scan your ticket and your movie ticket will be printed instantly!
Classical movies are played
Cinema City is one of six theaters that participates in “10AM Film Festival” that classical movies are played at 58 movie theaters throughout Japan.
This Film Festival has been for 10 years and this is actually the last year. Therefore, it’s your last chance and you shouldn’t miss it!! For example, they played Jaws, E.T. God Father, Gone with the Wind and Roman Holiday, Thelma & Louise, etc are scheduled to be played. (as of June 2019) I am personally interested in watching the series of Back to the Future scheduled in March 2020.
Check out the schedule for Cinema City here.
List of scheduled movies
Cheaper movie ticket even on weekends
Cinema City offers a program with which you can get discount tickets – 1,000 yen for weekdays and 1,300 yen for weekends/holidays. More details are provided in the next section.
Tip to get good deals on discount tickets
Here’s an easy way to buy discount tickets that is way cheaper than regular price movie ticket. Cinema City offers a program called Cinema Citizen program, and you should definitely sign up for it before you purchase movie tickets. It’s not free but even if you pay the fee, one time ticket with the fee is still cheaper than regular price. And if you plan to watch more than one time, there is no reason you don’t sign up!!
Fee and Benefits of Cinema Citizen
You have to pay fee for signing up Cinema Citizen. You can choose between the following two options.
■Cinema Citizen Fee
For 6 months (180 days): 600 yen
For a year: 1,000 yen
If you sign up, here are the benefits you get.
■Discount admission fee
Weekdays: 1,000 yen
Weekends/Holidays: 1,300 yen
■No extra fee for purchasing tickets online
If you are not a member of Cinema Citizen, it takes extra 50 yen to purchase tickets online. If you are member, no fee is applied.
If you are a member of Cinema Citizen, you actually don’t need to print tickets. You can go directly to the screen and use FeliCa.
■ Discount for concession food
For being a member of Cinema Citizen, you get discount for concession food. For example, for a set menu (popcorn + 2 drinks), you get 100 yen discount. etc.
How to sign up for Cinema Citizen
Go to this page to sign up. Unfortunately, the site is only in Japanese. But you just need to put basic information such as name, address, phone number, gender, birthday, email address, etc. Although I don’t think it’s a complex form, but if you need help, I can assist you step by step for signing up.
If you think it’a an hassle to sign up, I understand. Because I usually don’t like signing up for such a program. But I recommend you do it because it’s such a good deal even if you just buy ticket only once!! Discount amount is so much better than other movie theaters.
For example, there is a large cinema brand that you would see many places throughout Japan. They have a mileage program where you get one movie for free if you watch 6 movies. In addition, you get special discount on a certain weekday, etc. Regular movie ticket price is 1,800 yen (I personally find this very very expensive…) so let’s say you watch 6 movies. That’s 10,800 yen total. Even if you get one movie for free, each movie is more than 1,500 yen. Furthermore, you will have to watch 6 movies to get this benefits.
However, with Cinema Citizen program, you get the benefit right away! Let’s say you pay the fee for 6 months – 600 yen. You will get the discount right away. Therefore, your ticket will be 1,000 yen for weekends and 1,300 yen for weekends. So even if you pay 600 yen, if you are buying a ticket for weekday, it will end up being 1,600 yen total – which is cheaper than regular price of 1,800 yen! Isn’t that great??
Going to see a movie on Friday once a month is becoming a habit for me because the ticket is only 1,000 yen. And I love it!!! Why don’t you try if you are ever around Tachikawa area for Showa Kinen Park, etc? You will like the experience.