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Until the end of WWII, Shintenchi was Hiroshima‘s most energetic entertainment quarter and for a long time its most prosperous district. The area was developed by Shintenchi Co. (新天地株式会社) in 1921 when it built three big theaters and many shops at the east end of Hondori. It was enlarged with East Shintenchi in 1927, which stretched from Yagembori to the edge of Nagarekawa.
Shintenchi’s life as an entertainment quarter actually began earlier, when the Kanshoba market was established on the north side of the former Sanyodo Highway in 1892. This area had been dotted with samurai residences during the Edo Period.
At Shintenchi’s peak during the mid 1930’s, Shintenchi was home to more than 120 movie theaters, music halls, theaters, cafes, restaurants, and shops.
The area was completely destroyed by the world’s first atomic bombing on August 6, 1945. When the city was rebuilt after WWII, the area developed as Hiroshima’s central commercial and amusement district .