Little Tokyo’s Aratani/Japan America Theatre to close for repair in Jan. 2011


Aratani Japan America Theatre – photo by Darrell Miho

LOS ANGELES — The Aratani Japan America Theatre of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC) will close for repairs and upgrades on Jan. 31, 2011, the organization said.

“Our theatre is nearly 30 years old,” said JACCC Executive Director Chris Aihara, “and there are necessary repairs that we now need to address. It is also our intention to make some upgrades to the facility that will enhance the theatrical experience for the audience and performers.”

The theater, located in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo, was dedicated in 1983 with performances of Kabuki by the National Theater of Japan, and has presented such performing artists as jazz legend Sadao Watanabe, and the West Coast debut of African American enka singer, Jero.

While the theater is under repair, JACCC will present performances in alternate venues including its newly-restored James Irvine Japanese Garden which features an outdoor stage with theatrical lights and sound, as well as partnering with other local venues and organizations.

“Over the past three years, we undertook a full restoration of our James Irvine Japanese Garden and renovated the adjoining Garden Room to create more programming and event space. We are working towards securing the JACCC and its facilities for future generations, and believe this temporary closure of the theatre is part of that stewardship,” Aihara said.

It is anticipated that the Theatre will reopen for the 2012-2013 programming season.

For more information about the JACCC and its programs, call (213) 628-2725 or visit

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