Nation's First Dedicated Japanese Movie and Anime Theatre – Viz Cinema – Opens in August at New People in San Francisco


San Francisco, CA, July 14, 2009 – VIZ Pictures, a Japanese live-action film distributor and producer of the J-Pop Center Project, will launch the nation's first movie theatre, VIZ Cinema, devoted exclusively to Japanese films and anime, which will open its doors on August 15th at NEW PEOPLE, located in the heart of San Francisco's Japantown. The 143-seat subterranean theatre features plush seating, digital as well as 35mm projection, and a THX®-certified sound system.

NEW PEOPLE, a dynamic entertainment destination, brings the latest examples of Japanese popular culture to North American shores expressed through film, art, fashion, a variety of specialty boutiques from Japan and ongoing monthly events. As a grand feature of the building, VIZ Cinema is designed to give audiences a theatrical experience not available at any other venue in the country.

On August 15th, VIZ Cinema will celebrate its grand opening with a very special regional premiere screening of the first chapter of the 20th Century Boys live-action trilogy, directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi, and presented in partnership with Nippon Television. Advance tickets go on-sale on Friday, July 31st, and more information is available at

The first 20th Century Boys film will continue playing at the theatre for the next week, followed by a week-long showing of the second chapter of the trilogy. As an unprecedented event in the Japanese film world, VIZ Cinema will host the world premiere of the third and final chapter of 20th Century Boys on August 28th, presented simultaneously with the national release in Japan.

The 20th Century Boys trilogy is based on the critically-acclaimed manga series created by Naoki Urasawa and was a national phenomenon in Japan, selling over 24 million copies.

VIZ Cinema will schedule a dynamic range of programming based on a new theme each month across a variety of genres. Individual films will change weekly to bi-weekly. The theme for August is "MANGA ATTACK!" and will screen live-action and animated (anime) feature movies based on manga (Japanese comics).

The first anime event will be the U.S. premiere of Bleach The Movie: The Diamond Dust Rebellion for two nights only, August 18th and 19th. Tickets and screening information are available at beginning Friday, July 31st.

The September theme will be "LIFE ≈ ART" with feature films focusing on the pain and passion of an artist's lifestyle as well as documentaries of world-renowned Japanese pop artists. More details of the September program will be announced early August.

The initial VIZ Cinema roster emphasizes fresh and contemporary films from Japan, a classic film series is forthcoming, and individual theatrical events for several films currently licensed by VIZ Pictures are also planned.

Audiences will have a wide selection of concession snacks to choose from including San Francisco's favorite gourmet coffee brand, Blue Bottle Coffee, and an organic Japanese deli-menu by DELICA complemented with Ito En's artisan Japanese tea selection. A Japanese snack line-up with candy and other unique confections will also be available.

“We will have a variety of really fun events at VIZ Cinema, from DVD release parties and raffles and giveaways, to Q&A sessions and discussion panels to complement screenings, and possibly even some personal appearances by various creators, directors and actors,” says Seiji Horibuchi, the founder/CEO of VIZ Pictures and the founder of VIZ Media as well as the J-pop Center Project. “We want VIZ Cinema to foster a community interested in Japanese popular culture in a variety of forms and film plays an essential part in that mission.”

NEW PEOPLE is a 20,000 square foot contemporary building located at 1746 Post Street in San Francisco's Japantown (one of only three remaining in the country), an area steeped in more than a century of history. The structure features a striking 3-floor transparent glass façade that evokes a fun and exotic new environment to engage the imagination into the 21st Century. NEW PEOPLE will offer the latest films, art, and retail brands from Japan. A dedicated web site is also now available at:

About VIZ Pictures, Inc.:
Based in San Francisco, California, VIZ Pictures, Inc. licenses and distributes selective Japanese live-action films and DVDs, with focus on Japanese "kawaii (cute) and cool" pop culture. VIZ Pictures strives to offer the most entertaining motion pictures straight from the "Kingdom of Pop" for audiences of all ages, especially the manga and anime generation, in North America. Some titles include DEATH NOTE, 20TH CENTURY BOYS, and TRAIN MAN: DENSHA OTOKO. VIZ Pictures is also the producer of NEW PEOPLE, a part of the J-Pop Center Project, a unique entertainment destination bringing Japanese pop culture through film, art, fashion, and retail products. For more information please visit or Phone: (415) 345-1975
© 2009 VIZ Pictures, Inc.

About The J-Pop Center Project:
Launched by creative visionary Seiji Horibuchi, the founder and CEO of VIZ Pictures and the founder of VIZ Media, The J-Pop Center Project develops and extends innovative creative alliances and collaborations across different media: film, animation, music, art and retail products. For more information please visit

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