Toho was founded by the founder of Hankyu Railway, Ichizo Kobayashi, in 1932 as the Tokyo-Takarazuka Theater Company (東京宝塚劇場株式会社, Tōkyō Takarazuka Gekijō Kabushiki-kaisha?). It managed much of the kabuki in Tokyo and, among other properties, the Tokyo Takarazuka Theater and the Imperial Garden Theater in Tokyo; Toho and Shochiku enjoyed a duopoly over theaters in Tokyo for many years.
After several successful film exports to the United States during the 1950s through Henry G. Saperstein, Toho opened the La Brea Theatre in Los Angeles to show its own films without selling to a distributor. It was known as the Toho Theatre from the late 1960s until the 1970s. Toho also had a theater in San Francisco and opened a theater in New York in 1963.
The Shintoho Company, which existed until 1964, was named New Toho because it broke off from the original Toho Company.
The company has contributed to the production of some American films, including Sam Raimi's A Simple Plan.
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