Hawaii Theatre

5941 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Hawaii Theatre

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The Hawaii Theatre was opened on 6th May 1940, and designed by architect Carl Moeller, with Clarence G. Smale acting as consultant architect. The exterior of the Hawaii Theatre was dressed with a tropical mural over the box marquee. Round glass walls proceded onto the sidewalk flanking either side of the front entrance.

Inside, the auditorium was decorated with tropical jungle murals and had a simple Atmospheric style effect on the ceiling to continue the theatre’s theme. All seating was on a single level.

The theatre was later converted into the Salvation Army Tabernacle in the early-1960’s and remains their Hollywood headquarters today.

Contributed by W Housos

Recent comments (view all 54 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 9, 2011 at 12:27 pm

fieldight: The movie you saw in 1978 was probably at the theater down the block which was called the Hawaiian Gardens for while during the 1970s, but is listed at Cinema Treasures as the X 1 & 2 Theatres. The original Hawaii Theatre was definitely converted into the Salvation Army church after being closed in July, 1963.

socal09 on June 9, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Do any interior shots exist of this theatre?

DonSolosan on June 9, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Joe, I believe the “Hawaiian Gardens” days of the X 1 & 2 started in the early 90s. That’s when I attended screenings there anyway…

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 9, 2011 at 10:15 pm

You would probably know better than I would about date, Don. I was in Hollywood only two or three times in the 1970s and early 1980s and only knew about the name change from hearsay, and I haven’t been to the Los Angeles area since 1986. I do remember when the Hawaii closed in 1963, though, as I visited Hollywood frequently during that period, and I was very disappointed that the theater closed before I ever got around to seeing a movie there.

fieldight on June 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I must be confusing it with the World theatre then. Ironically i am living in the same area, about 2 blocks away and walk past these closed theatres pretty much everyday.

blucoyote on January 9, 2013 at 4:12 am

My father took me to movies there in the 60’s. I remember going to see The Guns of Navaronne there. The parking lot was in the back and you walked down this hallway that ran alongside the building and there were footprints painted on the floor leading to the box office. We thought that was fun to try and walk in the footprints!! I don’t remember the interior though. I think for a while they ran all night movies there in the late 60’s. We went after the clubs closed and saw Wait Until Dark one night. Although that could have been the World Theater nearer to Gower.

moviebuff82 on July 3, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Having the salvation army using this location is a good choice.

DavidZornig on July 11, 2015 at 6:40 pm

1940 premiere of “Rebecca”. Photo added via Susan Milner‎.

Jack Theakston
Jack Theakston on July 12, 2015 at 6:51 pm

Article from Showmen’s Trade Review about the opening of the Hawaii: http://www.archive.org/stream/showmenstraderev32lewi#page/n499/mode/2up/

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