Hawaii Theatre

5941 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Showing 1 - 25 of 57 comments

DavidZornig on August 20, 2016 at 5:39 pm

1959 photo added, credit Willy Rizzo.

Donald John Long
Donald John Long on February 2, 2016 at 12:06 pm

The first movie shown at the Hawaii Theater when it first opened on May 9, 1940 was “ABE LINCOLN IN ILLINOIS”. The theater had a gala Grand Opening event with lots of publicity.

Donald John Long
Donald John Long on February 2, 2016 at 12:04 pm

The Salvation Army took possession of the property in 1964 and gutted it and renovated it into a church in 1965 where they have remained to this day. The church was closed in 2010 for repairs and renovations, and reopened in early 2015 as it appears today as Ejercito de Salvacion, a Spanish-language church operated by the Salvation Army.

Donald John Long
Donald John Long on February 2, 2016 at 11:36 am

The last time I went to this site, in 2012, the building was closed up and it appeared as if it were either vacant or being used as a storage facility. A sad end to a formerly beautiful theater – but this is unfortunately very often the case with most picture palaces of the past.

Jack Theakston
Jack Theakston on July 12, 2015 at 10:51 am

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

DavidZornig on July 11, 2015 at 10:40 am

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

moviebuff82 on July 3, 2013 at 1:45 pm

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

blucoyote on January 8, 2013 at 8:12 pm

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.

fieldight on June 10, 2011 at 6:38 am

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.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 9, 2011 at 2:15 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.

DonSolosan on June 9, 2011 at 10:38 am

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…

socal09 on June 9, 2011 at 9:03 am

Do any interior shots exist of this theatre?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 9, 2011 at 4:27 am

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.

fieldight on June 1, 2011 at 5:19 am

I swear I saw a film at this exact theatre in 1978! But is says it was closed long before that. I think that’s inaccurate.

DonSolosan on November 9, 2010 at 5:14 pm

November 13th, 10:30 a.m., the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation will be hosting an “All About” the Music Box Theater at 6126 Hollywood Blvd, followed by a walk through of the nearby Hawaii, which has been a Salvation Army church for decades.

This event is free to LAHTF and Hollywood Heritage members; $7 to the general public.

hollywoodtheatres on September 21, 2010 at 12:47 am


Where the movie theatres are the stars!!!!

LOGLINE: Where the movie theatres are the stars!!!! An in depth look at the movie houses that have helped shaped the history and heritage of Hollywood from its golden age to today.

enjoy the trailer/promo to my doc CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD CINEMAS coming soon in theatres. join the fb page – upload (via vimeo) or embed this trailer. If interested in booking this film at your theatres or venue, please let us know

View link
for updates, screening info, festivals etc….

Dowload this trailer from vimeo at


Thanks to all of those who participated and provided footage and photos to make this doc possible.

official website: www.hollywoodindependents.com

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 8, 2009 at 2:07 pm

This theater was shown in a 1953 theater owners' documentary about the financial devastation wrought by the 20% federal tax, plus other encroachments on the box office, such as television.

The doc is called “The Case Against the 20% Federal Admission Tax on Motion Picture Theaters” and is a treasure trove of theaters operating but in imminent trouble, including long looks at their still-open theaters, marquees, etc., and interviews with the owners.

There are also plenty of shots of already-closed theaters; the writing was really on the wall already.

TCM ran this movie on 11/1/09 at about 6am and I stumbled upon it by accident; I don’t know when it will screen again but it is well worth seeking out.

johngleeson on October 22, 2009 at 5:54 pm

Here’s the bottom panel of a newspaper ad from 1958 with the Hawaii as the lead house.

View link

Bway on May 26, 2009 at 8:21 am

Is the theater preserved inside by this church, or was it redone?

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on September 26, 2008 at 1:22 pm

I used Google Maps to pull up a street view of this address. The Salvation Army conducted a very plain renovation of the exterior, in which the mural and marquee were removed.

William on July 9, 2008 at 8:16 am

The Downtown engagement was at the Music Hall which was the Tower Theatre and the other Hollywood engagement was at Studio or listed here as the Holly Theatre in Hollywood.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 9, 2007 at 5:29 pm

Ah, so the actors had won the awards for movies the theatre wasn’t showing. I hadn’t thought of that. So the marquee blurb might have been one of those ploys by a desperate theatre manager trying to find some way to attract audiences to a two-year-old re-release double billed with a newer release so unpromising that it has actually been placed below the older feature on the marquee.

kencmcintyre on November 9, 2007 at 4:32 pm

I couldn’t figure out if those were people or statues, or if it was a permanent display, or just a promotion for the movies. Convoy was about the British Navy, so maybe they’re supposed to be sailors.

William on November 9, 2007 at 4:27 pm

The films did not win any awards. The copy on the marquee boasts “2 Academy Winners together” , It’s Ginger Rogers and James Stewart. They both win Best Acting awards the year before for “Kitty Foyle” and “The Philadelphia Story”.