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Akeno Gekijo Strip Club

Akeno Gekijo (明野劇場) is a strip club from 1965. It is located in the graveyard-looking backyard of a series of unexciting love hotels. The area itself is in the middle of a boring part of Ibaraki prefecture and one can wonder how they could get enough customers, even though the entrance was 5,000Y only.

At the end of the 80’s, adult videos became really popular in Japan and the adult entertainment business outside the big cities took a big hit. If the strip-clubs wanted to stay in business, they had to find a way to keep the customers coming in and this was all about playing with the laws and the morality of the business. Usually, going too far was the best choice to have a chance, as long as the customers kept the stories to themselves. I have no clue what happened exactly to the Akeno Gekijo but it had to close in June 1994. One year later, it was set on fire and this new carbonized version became famous for its very unique appearance.

The place was a pretty surprising visit. The main stage was still there, stretching out from the further end, occupying most area in the room; audience’s seats are like those found in the old cinemas; 10 big stage lights must have been casting a bewitching sort of ambiance. There were stage-like walkways not so high in the air as well. I wonder what kind of strip-show this could provide. At the second floor there was a projection room that was a delight for my eye. It made me feel like aboard some kind of an anachronic spaceship.


  • 1965 – 1994
  • Nippon No Haikyo #60