To celebrate its 30th anniversary this year, the Tokyo-based Rinkogun theater company determined to present four original plays by its founder, the renowned playwright and director Yoji Sakate.

The first, staged to critical acclaim in March, was "Cowra no Hancho Kaigi (Honchos' Meeting in Cowra)," about a doomed breakout that Japanese POWs in an Australian camp in Cowra, New South Wales, really did stage during World War II. That was followed in June by "Kikan (Return Home)," which cast a powerfully skeptical eye over dam construction — a staple of Japanese pork-barrel politics for many decades. Then in September, after a brief premiere run at home, Sakate's award-winning masterpiece "Yaneura (Attic)," about young hikikomori (social hermits) in a near-future Tokyo, made great waves on tour to Yalta in Ukraine and Rome and Terni in Italy.

Now, as the fourth and final candle in its birthday cake, Rinkogun is presenting Sakate's newest work, "Kokoniwa Eigakan ga Atta (There Was a Cinema Here)," in Tokyo before touring with it to Nagoya, Kobe and Okayama. The play harks back to a golden age of movies in Japan — one still within living memory — when people went once or more each week to local cinemas, which were exciting hubs of cultural, social and, for some, romantic life.