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Operator of famous Asakusa strip theater goes bust

Asakusa Rokku-za
Management company for Asakusa Rokku-za declared bankruptcy

TOKYO (TR) – A management company for the legendary Asakusa Rokku-za strip theater has initiated bankruptcy proceedings, it was learned on Wednesday, reports Nikkan Sports (Oct. 23).

On October 15, Saito Kanko, a company charged with managing the entertainment aspect of the Asakusa Rokku-za strip theater in Taito Ward, filed paperwork at the Tokyo District Court claiming liabilities totaling 238 million yen, according to research firm Teikoku Databank.

The 145-seat theater, which often features performances by current and former adult video actresses, including Maria Ozawa and Minako Komukai, opened in 1947.

Located in the Asakusa area, a historic area once known for street performances and stand-up comedy, the theater subsequently became a fixture.

Its peak in popularity came five decades after it opened. For the fiscal year ending in March of 1994, the theater reported an annual revenue of 880 million yen.

But the theater was unable to recover from a slump in business following the “Lehman Shock” financial crisis of 2008, according to public broadcaster NHK (Oct. 22).

“The strip industry appears to be slowly disappearing,” a male office worker in his 40s said from inside the theater on Wednesday. “I wonder if it is a sign of the times. I hope the theater can persevere due to its history.”

General admission for the 300-person-capacity theater is 5,000 yen, though students and seniors can receive a 1,000-yen discount. The theater hosts five shows daily, with each extending for approximately 100 minutes.

Saito Kanko, which began managing the theater in April of 1984, ceased operations at the end of August.

The Asakusa Rokku-za is still operating but a future management plan has not been decided upon.