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Long-running Tokyo cabaret to shut

Kabukicho Club Heights
Kabukicho Club Heights

TOKYO (TR) – The cabaret Kabukicho Club Heights will close its doors this Friday, leveling another blow upon Japan’s most vibrant red-light district of Kabukicho.

The 600-seat hall, which opened in 1973 and is positioned at the symbolic center of the Kabukicho quarter in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward, will drop its curtain for the final time after Friday night (Feb. 27).

A message posted on the venue’s Web page thanked customers for their 36 years of patronage.

From the eighth floor of the Toho Kaikan building, next to the Koma Theater, hostesses entertain guests at tables that fan out and around a stage and dance floor, which provides a mix of music, contests, and dance performances. Its focal point is the large, draping white chandelier suspended from the center of the ceiling.

The move follows last year’s closure of the 2,000-seat Koma Theater, which hosted kabuki and enka performances since its opening in 1956. Last summer entertainment giant Toho made the company Koma Stadium, then the owner of the theater, a wholly owned subsidiary. Toho, which already owned the Kaikan site, intends to redevelop both properties.

The closing is the latest setback for Kabukicho, whose notorious bars, sex clubs, adult DVD shops, and other pleasure palaces have experienced numerous crackdowns by law enforcement in recent years.

During its final week, Kabukicho Club Heights is offering an all-you-can-drink special for 5,000 yen.

Note: Photos are courtesy of Kabukicho Club Heights.