Hawaii Cinerama

1550 South King Street,
Honolulu, HI 96826

Unfavorite 8 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 100 comments

Vito
Vito on September 30, 2013 at 11:53 am

It was all very heartbreaking to see all those magnificent theatres closed the worst being the destruction of the Royal and Waikiki #3 We had so many great plans in the early 80s to upgrade and improve all of those theatres with new sound and projection but then all of a sudden it was all over when the new administration came in and shut it all down. I had to feel especially bad for Wesley Inouye who put his heart and soul into the new #3 only to see it all torn down. All gone now, Cinerama, Waikiki 1-2-3, Kuhio and Royal, all that remains are a bunch of little boxes they call theatres but are nothing more than screening rooms.

sartana
sartana on September 29, 2013 at 2:14 pm

So the Cinerama was equipped with HPS-4000 for 10 years before it was closed in 99.

Such a shame, first it was the Cinerama, then the Waikiki theatres, and finally the morons at consolidated decided to remove the HPS-4000 from the newly built Ward theatre. Apparently they fell for the marketing scam of these fake Imax systems.

Oh how I long for the old days.

Vito
Vito on September 13, 2013 at 2:38 pm

It all began back in 1981 when John Allen recommended and arranged for us to test Klipsch speakers in our theatres; we installed the first one in the new screening room at Consolidates home office. Before I left the company plans were being made to begin installing the speakers in all the theatres. John also designed a magnificent system for the Waikiki #3 theater using Klipsh TMCM speakers. A new 70mm system was installed under the brilliant direction of Cosolidated’s Wesley Inouye who did all the wiring himself. Even the 35mm optical mono system was amazing so great someone said it sounded better than a 70mm sound system in most theaters. To which Allen quipped “wait till you hear the mag 70”

sartana
sartana on September 13, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Klipsch and Associates' ad announcing the installation of the Awesome HPS-4000 sound system at the Hawaii Cinerama.

BoxOffice March 1989

thisisjohnbook
thisisjohnbook on January 17, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Many movies viewed here, but I clearly remember seeing “Star Wars”, back when there was a line around the block to see it. I went with my mom and grandfather, who dressed up as if he was going out on the town.

Simplexbob
Simplexbob on March 27, 2012 at 9:37 pm

New to the Cinema Treasures site. Fascinating to look back at theatres one remembers from their youth. I remember while visiting my mother in Honolulu in the late 1940’s and early 50’s my movie theatre going experiences. The New Pawaa, later the Cinerama was just a block from where we lived. In those days most island neighborhood theatres did not have air conditioning, but instead had large louvered windows on the side walls which let in the trade wind breezes. Do other members remember that? Sad to read that so many of the old standby houses are no longer there.

dcubs
dcubs on March 18, 2011 at 12:47 am

Absolutely loved this theatre. The last film I saw here was THE MATRIX. The sound system in this theatre was the best, next to the Waikiki #2. I also remember seeing the revivals of 2001, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and BLADE RUNNER in the 90’s. I get a little misty whenever I drive by the building and see Checker Auto Parts in it’s place.

magicman1433
magicman1433 on October 8, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Thanks for the info, Vito. I wish I would have seen “Let There Be Rock” just to hear that sound system. Yeah, I remember seeing other features here & thinking that sometimes, it was just a little too loud (i.e., certain scenes in “Alien”). The Marina was a great little twin that featured a lot of great movies. Too bad they had awful hot dogs. I really miss these theatres. Multi-plexes just don’t work for me!

Vito
Vito on October 8, 2010 at 12:54 pm

I was chief of projection and sound for both Consolidated and Royal theatres during the eighties. When the movie “AC/DC Let There Be Rock” opened at the Cinerama in 1980 the studio arranged for a special sound system be installed. At the time we were still running the original Cinerama system which was an eight track channel system that did not provide the kind of power the studio wanted for the movie. My only complaint was that it was a mono system which surprised me but that is what they wanted. Opening night we received many complaints from our neighbors because the sound was so loud it could be heard all over King Street and was disturbing, we had to turn it down a notch. But my goodness did the Cinerama ever rock.

The Marina at the time had what I considered to be the best sound system on the Island, it originally had a very simple mono system but later we installed Dolby in both auditions with a sound system developed and designed by a fella by the name of Joe Schmidt. Joe was a very talented sound man who did one heck of a job at the Marina. New amps, speakers and Dolby processors were installed and the sound was magnificent. Later when we had a move over of “A Star is Born” from Waikiki #3 we installed a four track magnetic system for the engagement.

I have to mention that Oahu had many excellent sounding theatres thanks to the talents of Joe Schmidt and Wesley Inouye who were my sound techs, a couple of very talented sound people who knew their way around theater sound. Joe is retired now I believe Wesley still works for Consolidated. There were a few very dedicated people like Joe and Wesley along with another very talented projection technician by the name of Scott Bosch. Those three individuals made Hawaii theatres look and sound as well as any theatre could. I owe a lot of thanks for their help in making our theatres look and sound as good as they did during my time in Hawaii.

magicman1433
magicman1433 on October 8, 2010 at 6:06 am

When the AC/DC documentary “Let There Be Rock” played here, I remember reading (and hearing from my friends) that a special sound system was installed just for that feature. Does anyone have any insight into this? The Cinerama already had what I thought was a first-rate sound system. Also (slightly off topic), I remember the Marina Twins having really crisp, clear sound as well…maybe it was just me.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 15, 2010 at 10:51 pm

Two horrible movies,Magicman 1433.

magicman1433
magicman1433 on May 29, 2010 at 6:47 am

Just a quick FYI: The last movie to play at Waikiki #3 before renovation was “High Road To China.” The first movie to play after renovation was the dreadful “Psycho II.”

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on February 13, 2010 at 1:00 am

I remember my folks coming back from your beautiful state and i told them all i wanted was the Honolulu friday paper to see the movie ads and when i saw that a Drive-in was in that state it sorta threw me because of space and real estate. for years i kept that paper and it still might be here and the first “INDIANA JONES” movie was playing at that Drive-in.I remember that like it was yesterday. I’ll get my DVD’s out and look closly at the end credits.I like to say it was HAWAII theatre.Thanks vito.

Vito
Vito on February 11, 2010 at 11:03 am

I am not sure which downtown theatre that was. My guess would be the Hawaii which sill operates today as a live theatre venue, we also had the Liberty which was a second run grind house till it closed and the Rex which was a chinese opera house that later began showing porn films. As to the drive ins we had the Kam in Aiea which was later twinned and now closed, the Wai'alae in honolulu also closed, the Kilua in kilua and the Royal Sunset in Waipahu, also closed.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on February 11, 2010 at 3:06 am

Vito, Do you remember the theatre shown on the end credits on one of my favorite TV shows HAWAII5-0. I think the first three seasons it showed a downtown theatre,
Also,i swear I saw aDRIVE-In in one episode of 5-0. Could have been the KAM DRIVE-In.I mean,I understand you might not know this.

Vito
Vito on January 17, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Mike, that is the forst I ever heard of that as well.
Perhaps in that pre-platter era thst theatre had only one working projector and was limited to 6k or one hour reels. Any other other excuse would be hard to justify.
For us at Consolidated Hawaii Roadshows with built in intermissions were quickly becoming a thing of the past, the decsion to add intermissions to long running movies was made on the idea that people expected the break especially at the Cinerama.
Of cousre it was good for concession sales but management felt the patrons enjoyed the bathroom/smoke break and it had become a part of the program for the epic or long running movies.
During the 70s we added intermissions at the Cinerama to such films as “Towering Inferno” and “Posiden Adventure”, plus some of the musicals like “Funny Lady” and “Mame” to name a few.
But even the biggest blockbusters presented at the Cinerama running under two hours like “Young Frankenstien” were presented without intermission.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 17, 2010 at 12:44 am

Vito, There was a theatre in Tampa,Fla, HILLSBORO i think,it is on CT and a friend there,Nick, told me they broke away for intermissions even on the 81 minute movie “LET IT BE” i told Nick never heard of such a thing.It was a ABC FLORDIA STATE THEATRE not some mom and pop opearation. I will have to tell him to come over this theatre and read about the intermissions a theatre chain added.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 22, 2009 at 6:04 pm

I saw Reds at the Boyd in Philadelphia, in the big theater, not one of the shoeboxes added later. Quite an experience.

Vito
Vito on June 22, 2009 at 5:53 pm

We did not have to add the intermission into Reds, Paramount had built one in to the movie. Until recently Reds was one of, if not the last one to carry an Intermission. In cases where an intermission was not built in to the movie, care was taken not to interrupt the action or interfere with the story line. Any time there was a fade out fade in, (remember those?) and it was somewhere near the middle of the movie. that of course was gold and that was where the break was inserted.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 22, 2009 at 5:17 pm

The last film I saw that had an intermission was Reds, back in 1982. The first half ended with Warren Beatty embracing someone, maybe Dianke Keaton. Some people thought the film was over, until I told them it was only halftime.

Vito
Vito on June 22, 2009 at 12:05 pm

taco you mentioned thr intermission in Towering Inferno.
As most of you know that picture did not have a built in intermission. It was a regular practice of Consolidated to add an intermission to pictures playing at the Cinerama. it ws a throw back to the hard ticket days.
Generally when a picture had a lengthy running time
(Inferno was 165 mins) the print would be run in the home office screening room and a proper spot was choosen to add an intermission It was a simple intermission snipe which was cut into the print. we did that with many movies during the 70s and 80s. As the projectionist during the time you attended many of those great pictures I must have been in the booth during may of your visits. I left the Cinerama to go into Consolidated’s sight and sound department in 1980

jcsailer
jcsailer on June 22, 2009 at 7:30 am

Growing up in Honolulu in the 1970’s and 1980’s, this was one of my favorite theatres. Vivid memories of seeing Young Frankenstein and The Towering Inferno in the spring of 1975 (The Towering Inferno had an intermission in the middle of the movie, after a 10 minute break, audience goes back in for 2nd half , I’ve never had that experience again, thought it was kinda cool )

Enjoyed Star Wars in summer of 1977 ( it played there for almost a year ). Alien in summer 1979, and the Empire Strikes Back opening day in May 1980, 3 pm show. ( I remember the the marquee on billed it as Star Wars II )

I was there also on the opening day of Return of the Jedi in June 1983, a full month after it had opened on the mainland, due to to problems with the distributor. Consolidated balked at the distribution demands and waited a month to show the movie in Honolulu. Thank God there was no internet back then posting spoilers. Actual Honolulu premiere was a charity benefit show the night before. But next day belonged to the public. Got to the Cinerama at 6am, line was already halfway around the block. Stood in line for 6 hours. 3 hours to buy a ticket at the box office on the left side, and then 3 hours on right side of the building to get in. 1st 9am show was sold out. I got in the 11:45am show, and had such a fantastic time, I hid in the bathroom and got to see the next 2:30pm show for free. I did buy tons of popcorn, soda, candy, hotdogs, so the theatre didn’t lose out moneywise.

I also stood in line opening day for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in May 1984. Due to school, couldn’t make it to first showing. Saw the second show at 3pm. Found out the first show didn’t even sell out. This was the first big Paramount release to be opened at the Cinerama. Since Royal Theatre in Waikiki closed down in 1982, the Royal Theatre chain only big venue to show it was the Waialae Drive In. They didn’t want to show it in puny Marina Twin or King twin theatres. Most drive ins show double features. But since this was a big ticket, first time ever the drive in just showed Indiana Jones 3 times a night.

The Cinerama had a parking lot in the back and a narrow alley that led to the front. But mostly I remember full parking signs, and always having to to park on side streets during popular shows. They had a small, but well stocked snack bar, and full length mirrors on each side of the lobby. Lots of good times at the Cinerama. It’s now a auto part store, but the facade is still there. Footnote : Obama grew up in an apartment a few blocks away. I pretty sure he checked out the movies at the Cinerama many times.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 15, 2008 at 10:45 pm

From Boxoffice magazine, January 1963:

HONOLULU, HAWAII-Edwin Silver is manager of the newly rebuilt Cinerama Theater which Consolidated Amusement Co. opened here last month. Silver has been in public relations in local sporting and entertainment ventures, having served as publicity director for the Hawaii Chiefs professional basketball team when it played in the American Basketball League in 1961-62.

Silver, who was appointed by John H. Traut, Consolidated president, is a native of Indianapolis. He has made his home here since 1959. The Cinerama Theater opened with “The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm”.

Shigeaki
Shigeaki on October 18, 2008 at 2:03 am

William,

Sorry about the Preston/Pepper mixup. I got it confused with the radio program, SGT. PRESTON OF THE YUKON my brother and I used to listen to when we little in the forties. Yes, the Road Show era was over when the films I had mentioned in my thread was released and that was a shame. I do not know if you were around during the peak of the era of these special motion picture exhibition. If you were, I am sure you will agree with me that they were very exciting times.

-Claude

KingBiscuits
KingBiscuits on October 17, 2008 at 6:19 am

The article about the closing. Forgot to clarify.