Marina Twins

1765 Ala Moana Blvd.,
Honolulu, HI 96815

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Location : Honolulu Hawaii. Ala Moana Boulevard. Street Level, occupying space below the Ilikai Hotel parking lot. Honolulu Yacht Harbor right behind the theatres, hence the name. Good location. Near major Waikiki hotels and restaurants.

The Marina Twins opened in August 1974 with the Honolulu premiere of "Chinatown". Till the late-1980’s, Marina was part of the Royal Theatre chain, showing exclusively Paramount and Disney studio releases.
One theatre was red, one was blue. Each theatre held about 190 seats. Decent projection, seats, and sound. Snack bar was okay. I remember stale popcorn, lukewarm hot dogs, limited candy selection. Tiny bathroom. I remember standing in long lines to see : “Murder on the Orient Express”, “King Kong”( 1976 version), “Black Sunday”, “The Black Hole”, “Ordinary People”, “First Blood”, “48 Hours”, “An Officer and a Gentleman”, “Flashdance”, “Terms of Endearment”, “The Terminator”, “Pretty in Pink”. I think "Saturday Night Fever" played continously for six months at this theatre, only to be replaced by the long running "Grease" in June of 1978.

The Marina Twins was bought by Consolidated Theatres in 1984 and started booking other studio films. Last movie I saw at the Marina Twins was "Death Becomes Her" in 1993. Theatres were sold gutted I think in 1995, replaced by Outback Steakhouse.

Contributed by Chris Sailer

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

stevemcgarrett
stevemcgarrett on April 25, 2010 at 7:51 am

Oh yes I can’t forget the Marina Twins while then under ownership of the Royal Chain. As A Kid I always checked to see what was playing there back in the 70’s. The first movie that I saw there was Raiders of The Lost Ark. And other movies seen there, Grease 2, Terms of Endearment & Falcon & The Snowman, Four Weddings & A Funeral and few others I may have forgotten. The theater itself seems quite small, the lobby area, snack bar facility seems teeny tiny & the theaters on both side were designed differently. Theater 1 is the typical theater shaped auditorium vs. #2 was slightly a rectangle shaped-ish that was different from the other one. And yes when Royal Theater Chain went poof, Consolidated took over which eventually became Outback as I recall while living on the islands.

LowellAngell
LowellAngell on June 5, 2011 at 9:42 pm

The Marina Twins were built in a former gas station, which opened onto the street (Ala Moana Blvd) and, because the building’s lower floors were a parking garage, the concrete floor of the gas station-turned-theatre sloped up off the street. The auditorium seats were placed facing the street and — instant rake! If you pulled back the sidewall curtain in the draped auditorium, the gas station sign was still on the wall which read “Turn off engine before refueling.”

In spite of their strange genesis, the Marina Twins were nice cozy theatres.

Vito
Vito on January 17, 2013 at 6:59 am

The original name for the theatre was to be the Ilikai Marina Twin but when it was discovered that the name had been reserved by the Ilikai Marina condominium the name became Royal Marina. The projection rooms where each equipped with two 35mm projectors which handled 6K reels running automated in change over reel to reel style. In addition, a platter was installed which enabled presentation of movies shown in both auditoriums simultaneously which is the way the premiere attraction of “Chinatown” was presented. Later the theatre was the first on Oahu to install Dolby stereo in one of the auditoriums, a four track magnetic Dolby stereo system was installed along with the optical stereo. The 4 track mag sound was used for “King Kong” and in a move over run from the Consolidated Waikiki# 3 of “A Star Is Born”. Along the way the second auditorium had Dolby installed for the showing of Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon”. At the time the Marina had one of the best sound systems on the island second only to the Cinerama.

thisisjohnbook
thisisjohnbook on January 17, 2013 at 7:46 am

Went to the Marina 1 & 2 a number of times. I know I saw “Grease” on Marina 2, while the last film I saw there was “Splash” at Marina 1. Numbers may have been reversed, but both were seen there. Theaters were nice and cozy too, for its time.

steve_verno
steve_verno on June 7, 2013 at 2:30 am

we saw Airplane here. We’d eat at McDonalds across the street or at the Renown Milano Italian restaurant, also across the street. Nice small, quiet theater.

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