Ginza Motion Picture Theater (Project)    Tokyo, 1918

Given its name, the Ginza Motion Picture Theater was probably intended for Tokyo's most chic shopping and entertainment district. Neither contemporary drawings, nor a contract with the client, survive.

A detailed scale model, dated 1918, reveals a promenade balcony, clerestory windows and a pyramid projecting from an octagonal roof set over a square base. Drawings made from the model highlight undeniable similarities with the theater Wright was then designing for Aline Barnsdall in Los Angeles.

Because the stage appears to have been designed in the round, and audience sightlines would thus be severely restricted, it seems possible that the theater was to be used for other purposes — such as sumo tournaments, as one scholar suggests — rather than for the screening of movies.  (KS)