The First Day of "The Cat Returns"

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On July 20, 2002, 'The Cat Returns' was given a nation-wide release. A line of about 170 people to turn night was formed at the Hibiya-Eiga theater, where the opening speeches were scheduled. First, around 5:30 in the morning; then, 10:30 a.m.; the third group joined the line before noon; so the line was formed and grew to about 20 people until sunset, and about 40 until 10:00 p.m., it is said. After 0:00 midnight and when thedate was changed, a line of about 150 people had been formed.

About 0:25 a.m. on July 20, the "Producer" Suzuki Toshio appeared. The information ran through the turning-night line, and in a second he was surrounded by the fans to ask his autograph. To avoid disorders, it was decided that Suzuki went to the people on the line one after another, so the line resumed its form, and a very well-mannered "autograph session" took place. When the session was finishing, a lot of fans began joining the line again, and when Suzuki gave the last autograph after 1:15 a.m., a big clapping arose.

The Hibiya-Eiga theater also managed with all-night staff. They counted the accurate number of the line members about the time when the last trains left, and after 2:00 a.m. the boxoffice was opened to sell today's tickets for the people who did not have an advance ticket. Large bags are prepared to avoid dumping litters.

19 in July 23:50PM Hibiya Cinema

AM on July 20th 0:15 People who stay up all night

0:25AM Producer Suzuki came.

0:56AM Producer Suzuki who signs

1:04AM  Commemoration taking a picture

1:15AM Producer Suzuki who greets it

2:15AM Sales of ticket

4:31AM Daybreak

On July 20, 2002, as the first trains arrived, one-day groups joined the line, and it grew to about 230 people at 6:00 a.m. and about 300 at 7:00 a.m. The media had also arrived early, and they started operatingTV cameras and began full-dress interviews at around 6:30 a.m. At 7:15a.m., the line was reformed, and as early as this time, the theater billswere started selling to avoid disorders after the gates were opened.

20 in July 5:43AM People who queue up in procession

6:08AM Confirmation of number of people

6:24AM Collection of garbage

6:50AM Procession

6:52AM Coverage

7:21AM Procession

7:22AM Inducement

7:47AM Sales of pamphlet

At the time of 7:55, the line had reached 425 people. The gates were opened at 8:00 and the lobby was crowded with the wave of the people who were asking theater bills or character goods. At the time of 8:25 a.m., the admissions were a little fewer than 600, and after 8:35 a.m., the available seats of about 650 became full, and the hall went standing room only, it was announced. At 9:10 a.m., first 'Ghiblies episode 2', then 'The Cat Returns' were screened. At the time when the showing started, there were about 20 people in the standing room, but they included the staff members and the actual number of the standing audience was supposed to be ten or thereabout.

8:00AM Entrance

8:05AM Coverage

8:05AM Lobby

8:18AM Stall

8:20AM Appearance in hall  
It has not become overcapacity yet. The front row:A special seat of the mass communication.

8:25AM Stall

8:50AM Clerk in charge

At 11:00 a.m., as the showing finished, a big clapping arose, and Mr.Nishimura Masahiko, Mr. Furuta Arata, Ms. Shinohara Tomoe, Mr. Imada Kouji,Ms. Ikewaki Chizuru and Mr. Hakamada Yoshihiko gave opening speeches. Withfine assists by a TV announcer Mr. Fukuzawa, the speeches were always lappedby laughter and clapping. The process was reported in the evening newsand the next day's sports papers.

11:23AM The stage greeting ended.

11:25AM Spectator who leaves it

11:27AM Stall

11:30AM The second entrance

11:32AM Coverage

11:34AM Hibiya Cinema

11:35AM Hibiya Cinema

(Photographed on July 19 - 20, 2002)
Special Thanks: Translated by USHIRO Satoshi


The Details of the Opening Speeches (audio) by Noriyuki Arisaka

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