When Yebisu Garden Place opened for business in Tokyo in 1994 you could walk through its marionette clock square, pass under a glass arch and find the best art-house theater in Tokyo — Ebisu Garden Cinema — tucked away beside a faux chateau. The debut film it screened was Robert Altman’s masterpiece “Short Cuts,” the first of many great films to be shown there.

The cinema closed its doors in 2011, a casualty of declining interest in independent (and foreign) cinema, and was replaced by a K-pop event theater. The best news of 2015 has been the return of Ebisu Garden Cinema to its old home, and the cinema looks to its roots this month with a documentary on Altman, whose films “Kansas City” and “Gosford Park” also played at the original EGC.

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