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  • Jack Starr

KaiJuly – Godzilla Takes Over Sheffield in New Japanese Monster Season at Showroom Cinema



The Showroom Cinema, Sheffield’s go-to independent picture-house, have announced a new season of classic films, celebrating the 70th anniversary of cinema’s greatest giant villain – Godzilla, the King of the Monsters.


Throughout July, the cinema will be screening the greatest hits from the vast back catalogue of Japanese kaiju monster movies. The series is the longest-running continuous franchise in movie history, stretching from the days of classic rubber suits and miniature model cities, to the modern era of CGI blockbusters. This ‘KaiJuly’ season has been specially curated by Showroom staff members Max Barker and Andy Graves.


Season co-creator Max Barker is particularly excited to be bringing these classic movies back to the big screen. ‘Godzilla has never been so big’, he says, ‘no pun intended!’ Last winter, a new movie, Godzilla Minus One (2023), was a huge success, and bought the titular fire-breathing titan back into popular culture. ‘Kaiju is hot stuff at the moment,’ says Max. ‘This week, a new Ultraman series came out on Netflix, and this time he’s raising a baby kaiju monster… It really feels like the right time to bring these movies back, and it being the 70th anniversary just makes it all perfect.’


The season begins with the original Godzilla (1954), the original film that spawned the kaiju genre, and explores the allegory of nuclear terror in postwar Japan. The screening on Saturday 6th July will have a special introduction by Dr Diane Rodgers from Sheffield Hallam University. It will screen from 5th-7th July.

Mothra (1961) is the second film in the season, screening from 12th-14th July. Mothra, a giant moth-like creature, is the second-most popular kaiju creature after Godzilla, and is a more heroic protector of her native island against exploitation. The screening on Friday 12th July will have a special introduction by writer and film historian Dr Craig Ian Mann.


The third film, Destroy All Monsters (1968), is a fan-favourite that features eleven monster characters – including Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah and Rodan – in all-out battle. This film is beloved for its simple story and innovative action, featuring all the classic old-school cheesy effects. It will screen from Friday 19th - Sunday 21st July.



If rubber-suit daftness isn’t your thing, then you may prefer the fourth film in the season, Shin Godzilla (2016), a new reboot of the series in Japan that features modern effects and a complex story involving the politics and bureaucracy surrounding a Godzilla attack, inspired by the natural disasters that struck Japan in 2011. It will screen from Friday 26th - Sunday 28th July.


The season will also feature a special free after-party on Saturday 27th July in the Showroom’s Café Bar, featuring Godzilla-themed cocktails and food. The party has been described as a ‘70th birthday bash worthy of the King of Monsters’, and will have classic Godzilla video games available to play - Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee for Nintendo GameCube, and Godzilla: Monster War for the Super Nintendo.


KaiJuly is just one of many special seasons curated specially for the Showroom Cinema – throughout May, the cinema treated us to a retrospective season of Ryan Gosling films, advertised as ‘Not Just Ken – The Films of Ryan Gosling’. The cinema team are dedicated to bringing back must-see films to the big screen, as they were meant to be enjoyed.

 

The Showroom is also still collecting donations for its new projector appeal. The cinema needs to raise funds for a new, energy-efficient projector model to replace its current aging model. They are accepting donations at LocalGiving here.

 

KaiJuly season passes are available now for £25. Individual film tickets are available to buy from only £5 with a free Cine26 membership for young people. You can purchase tickets at the Showroom website here.

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