Construction and refurbishment of the 55-year old Kyoto Kaikan building finished earlier this month. The original hall was designed by leading modernist architect Kunio Maekawa (1905-1986) and built in 1960. However, theatre stages were too small and the building was not equipped for operas or ballet performances. The building’s condition was also starting to deteriorate.
Kyoto City spent 11 billion Yen refurbishing the South Hall which included preserving the Maekawa-designed exterior, while the Main Hall was completely rebuilt into a 6-storey hall with 2,005 seats.
Building heights in this area are capped at 15 meters, yet the city provided an allowance of up to 31 meters for the reconstruction. This was met with an outcry from locals opposed to the taller design.
The building has been renamed the ROHM Theatre Kyoto after ROHM Semiconductor paid 5 billion Yen for the 50-year naming rights.
The theatre will open to the public from January 10, 2016. It is located across the street from the Heian Shrine.
Source: The Yomiuri Shimbun, September 15, 2015.