King Theatre

55 King Street,
Honolulu, HI 96813

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 11, 2017 at 5:50 pm

An advertisement, and the caption of a photo, on the newspaper page rivest266 linked to say that the King Theatre was designed by architect Herbert C. Cayton.

Herbert Cohen Cayton appears to have been fairly well known in his day, but the only other buildings of his design to which I can find references on the Internet are a small craftsman bungalow and the 1934 design of Honolulu’s U.S. Immigration Station, done in collaboration with architect C.W. Dickey.

rivest266 on March 11, 2017 at 11:48 am

Correction: December 15th, 1935

rivest266 on March 11, 2017 at 11:46 am

This opened on December 15th, 1936. Grand opening ad in the photo section and below.

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thisisjohnbook on January 17, 2013 at 10:20 am

I want to say that I went into the King, but I don’t remember a specific movie. My mom spent a lot of time shopping in downtown Honolulu, but I definitely remember eating next door at the saimin stand a number of times, Shirabe Saimin. On the left side of the theater was a photo shop, as I remember taking pictures and buying Fuji film. The one thing I do remember, however, was that Bruce Lee’s “Enter The Dragon” had played there for what felt like years, but it may have felt that way with how many times my mom shopped in the area.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 8, 2010 at 1:58 am

The Historic Hawaii Foundation has this information on their web page about the local newspaper, the Honolulu Advertiser:

“Although not its first home, the Advertiser was located in the W.W. Dimond building on King Street, between Fort and Bethel Streets, until 1913. (W.W. Dimond & Co. sold home furnishings. In 1936, the King Theatre was built on the site, now a multi-story parking garage).”
A 1916 magazine ad for W.W. Dimond Co. gives its address as 53-65 S. King Street, so the address of the King Theatre must have been somewhere in that range (it probably didn’t occupy the entire footprint of the former furniture store buildings.)

magicman1433 on October 7, 2010 at 10:13 pm

One of the dumpiest theatres with the weirdest employees and clientele. Pretty odd features booked here as well. Anyone remember “Buckstone County Prison” or “Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks”? I believe that “Caligula” played here as well.

jcsailer on November 24, 2009 at 3:29 pm

King Theatre : I remember lots of late 70’s early 80’s exploitation films first screened in Honolulu at this place originally built back in the silent era. From news articles, Elvis' “Blue Hawaii” made it’s world premiere here. That was probably the high point. “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” made it’s inital bow in Hawaii at the King. As the the 60’s came to a close, King fell into disrepair. No upgrades done, just awkward poorly designed twinning. Uncomforable, torn seating, sticky floors, dark as hell, scary looking customers (even during the day) terrible popcorn and hot dogs. I remember seeing the original “Friday the 13th” “The Fog” “Force 10 from Navarone” “ My Bloody Valentine” “ Orca” “ Zapped” “ Death Ship” “White Buffalo” “Rock and Roll High School” “Prophecy” “Prom Night ” “Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke”. The King Theatre closed in March 1986.

stevemcgarrett on November 3, 2009 at 5:05 pm

First movie I saw back in 1977 was “Tentacles” as a single screen theater. Got Twinned in the 80’s when it was owned by Royal. Oddly shaped theater and the snack food area was teeny tiny. I recall the lady behind the snack food counter would yell at you suggesting that you are trying to sneak into the adjoining theater that you did not pay for but was on your way to use the bathroom. The theater auditoriums were poorly lit. The movies ranged from Disney flicks to Sci Fi Horror flicks, “Scanners Anyone?”… During its final days Consolidated featured 3rd rate showings of double features for a low price that did draw a handful of people but theater eventually closed up and torn down and converted into a parking lot garage.