See real stars at Yebisu Garden Place’s summer film screenings


Staff Writer

The era of the drive-in movie theater might be gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favorite flicks under the stars.

This year, Tokyo’s Yebisu Garden Place will host the 12th annual Starlight Cinema event, a series of free movie screenings that takes place in the central plaza of the Yebisu complex during weekends and on national holidays from July 16 to Aug. 7.

The theme this year is “To Smile for Tomorrow.” Organizers say this is an attempt to stress the importance of the bonds between people and to share stories of courage in order to raise the public’s spirits in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11.

The more than 7-meter-tall movie screen used for the event will be partially powered by solar panels to help conserve energy.

Tickets for the 150 seats available for each showing will be handed out from 6:15 p.m., though people without tickets can still watch the films from the surrounding areas of the plaza.

The lineup of films includes: “Chonmage Purin” (July 16), “Swing Girls” (July 17), “Sawako Decides” (July 18), “Frequency” (July 23), “Kamome Dinner” (July 24), “Puritei Woman” (July 30), “Hi wa Mata Noboru” (July 31), “The Pursuit of Happyness” (Aug. 6) and “Still Walking” (Aug. 7).

In addition to the screenings, there will be Hawaiian and Tahitian dance troupes performing July 23-24 and 30-31 (12 p.m. till 4 p.m.).

During the days movies are screening, some shops in Yebisu Garden Place will provide special services for those people who have a pamphlet for the Starlight Cinema event.

The Japan Red Cross Association will also be on hand to collect donations for the Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund.

Starlight Cinema 2011 will take place at Yebisu Garden Place from July 16 to Aug. 7 and movies will be showing from 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit: www.gardenplace.jp/sp/starlightcinema.html.