Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 1600 — map & image data — nearby photos
The old Kyoto Theater Hall near my house reopened today after some years of renovation, emerging as “ROHM Theater Kyoto” (ロームシアター京都). ROHM is a semiconductor company based here in Kyoto, last mentioned on my blog more than 10 years ago, before I got into photography or even blogging that much, on this post about their annual Christmas lights at their company headquarters. They must have paid a boatload of money to someone to get branding rights for this renovated concert/theater complex.
I have a vague recollection of seeing some kind of performance at the original theater 25 years ago, when trekking this deep into Kyoto was a rare thing for me. (I lived in Takatsuki City at the time).
More recently, the old hall was the site of the Presidential visit seen 10 years ago in “Presidential Visit means REALLY BIG hubbub”, and since we live nearby, it's been in the background of numerous shots, such as this and this and this and this and this.
Anyway, we don't really care about the theater itself, but the BIG BIG BIG excitement of the reopening is that it now includes a combined TSUTAYA Bookstore ＋ Starbucks Coffee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/7.1, ISO 2500 — map & image data — nearby photos
The theater had grand-opening events all day, but we were interested only in the 4:30pm grand opening of the Starbucks. We didn't know whether thousands might be waiting in line or no one, but we wanted to check things out so we headed over there a bit before.
It was bustling but not crazy. We showed up to find that they had taken pity on all those waiting in line and opened early, so the line was moving along briskly by the time we entered, and the wait was 20 minutes.
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/80 sec, f/4.5, ISO 3200 — map & image data — nearby photos
where presumably two or three would normally be
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 40mm — 1/50 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1600 — map & image data — nearby photos
away from the hubbub and it was quiet and nice
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/20 sec, f/5.6, ISO 3200 — map & image data — nearby photos
not part of Starbucks, but somehow integrated
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 38mm — 1/30 sec, f/5, ISO 1600 — map & image data — nearby photos
on the pricey side
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2, ISO 1250 — map & image data — nearby photos
some kind of lounge / book area
I guess you can bring your Starbucks order here to chill
We like Starbucks coffee and even if it were a normal Starbucks we'd be pleased that it's close (but not within sight 😉 ). The real attraction for us, though, is the combination with the bookstore and the lounge-like areas; we envision that we can retreat there for some quiet “quality time” with a book (or, in my case, with the free Wifi).
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/40 sec, f/2, ISO 1600 — map & image data — nearby photos
we didn't realize it was connected from the lounge
On the way out of the restaurant / cafe / book building, I noticed that the floor was some very nice lightly-sculpted woodwork. I wonder how long the protruding ridges will last.
We took a look at the theater building as well. The main theater was completely rebuilt, but the sub-theater and the rest of the building were merely remodeled. Sadly, we weren't allowed to see the new main theater.
The gates barring the way, rather than some kind of impersonal security gate, were made of nicely-stained wood with a nice modern Japanese aesthetic....
The whole area is getting a makeover. This past autumn the final leg of Jingu Street (“Shrine Street”), which dead-ended into the Heian Shrine, was closed off and turned into a pedestrian mall.
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/20 sec, f/1.7, ISO 3200 — map & image data — nearby photos
Compare with this photo from about the same place eight years ago, as seen on “Snowy Round Trip to the Heian Shrine”...
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/500 sec, f/4.5, ISO 400 — map & image data — nearby photos
The small playground that Anthony used to play in was also remodeled, with the location of things shuffled around...
The apparatus* are the same, but if you use the “nearby photos” link to compare to the many prior photos from the area, it becomes apparent that the locations are all different.
|*||Note to my mom: I realize that the plural of “apparatus” is “apparatuses”, but I invoke artistic license to use “apparatus” as singular and plural, 'cause it sounds better to me.|
The reshuffling was apparently done to make space for a tourist-information center (for Japanese tourists; I saw no information in any other language) housed in an old streetcar, which you can see in the background of the photo above.
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 1250 — map & image data — nearby photos
The very first electrical-power generation plant in all Japan was nearby, and as such the nearby Niomon Street was the first in Japan to have streetlights and streetcars, so the old streetcar here is apropos.
All in all it was a nice family outing.