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Ah, for the days of real movie theaters. Just as a certain Seattle-based company has made the brick-and-mortar bookstore obsolete, the real-deal cinema house died a slow death — first maimed by the multiplex and then killed by the Internet.

If you’re under 30, you probably wouldn’t know that people actually used to go to the movies to make out and the popcorn was god-awful. In Tokyo, old movie theaters were bastions of art, culture and sexual experiences accompanied by the smell of disinfectant wafting from the restrooms. I spent most of my youth frequenting places such as Bungei-za in Ikebukuro, Namikiza in Ginza and, the most glorious local theater of all, Mitaka Oscar in Mitaka, where you paid ¥1,000 and got to see three movies in a single afternoon.

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