Kuhio 1 & 2 Theater

2095 Kuhio Avenue,
Honolulu, HI 96815

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Kuhio 1 & 2 Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The late Streamline style Kuhio Theater opened June 21, 1945, in Waikiki, Honolulu. It could originally seat 950.

During the 1960’s, the Kuhio Theater featured road shows, and in October of 1966, the Hawaiian premiere of the movie “Hawaii”, based on the James Michener novel of the same name, was held at the theater.

The Kuhio Theater’s 70mm screening capabilites were removed when the theater was twinned in the 1980’s after it was acquired by Pacific Theatres.

The Kuhio Theater was closed November 30, 1995 and was demolished in January 1996 to make way for a new shopping center.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 29, 2008 at 11:40 pm

I don’t know. I’m not sure those photos are of this theater.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 29, 2008 at 11:46 pm

There aren’t any other Kuhios listed. Royal Hawaiian looks to be the chain when the photos were taken. If it can be confirmed that these photos are the Kuhio after the conversion, then Royal should be added as an aka. The few pictures we have are of the single screen theater.

Vito
Vito on August 30, 2008 at 11:18 am

The photos are of the Royal theatre located on Kuhio Ave.
The theatre was built and operated by Royal Development company and was closed and demolished in 1982. I do not recall the theatre being called the Royal Hawaiian Kuhio.
The Kuhio was of course the single screen theatre operated by Consolidated theatres and later twinned.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 30, 2008 at 4:42 pm

Thanks for clearing that up.

Vito
Vito on August 30, 2008 at 5:51 pm

My pleasure.
I loved the Royal with its garden entrance and large orchestra seating area. The presidium hosted two curtains, a Royal Blue traveler curtain and a Gold Contour curtain.
I had the unpleasant responsibility of dismantling the theatre when it was closed, a very sad experience,
I remember thinking I hope never to have to do that again to another theatre. I had driven Royal theatres CEO Herman Rosen to the theatre the last night it was open for one last look. He hated closing it, but he had sold the company and we began downsizing, starting with closing the home office and then the Royal and Sunset Drive in. Consolidated took over the Marina and ran it for a while before selling to a steak house operation.

The Kuhio had a rather plan auditorium with no draperies or screen curtains.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 15, 2010 at 10:45 pm

look at all the one sheet frames! You sure it was a TWIN.Lol.

CodyZamboni
CodyZamboni on January 27, 2013 at 9:30 pm

I’ll be posting a picture from February 1994. Some great first run movies from the 1980’s at the Kuhio 1 and 2 that I saw : The Four Seasons, The Outsiders, Mr Mom, Streets of Fire, Revenge of the Nerds, All of Me, Mischief, Vision Quest, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Secret of My Success, Evil Dead 2 : Dead by Dawn.

steve_verno
steve_verno on June 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm

I went & saw Star Trek 2, Wrath of Kahn when it opened in 1982. that night, my son was born.

ainahaina
ainahaina on December 11, 2013 at 3:58 am

They went all out for the 1956 showing of “Away All Boats”, a WWII movie starring Jeff Chandler. There was a target drone aircraft in the lobby and an amphibious armed personnel carrier parked in front.

LowellAngell
LowellAngell on June 3, 2016 at 12:37 am

I want to correct some information above and add some further details about the Kuhio.

It opened on June 21, 1945 and seated 950. It was actually ready to open in early 1942, but after the Pearl Harbor attack, the Navy requisitioned it for use as an air-conditioned warehouse and office space during WWII, hence the delay. It was built by Consolidated Amusement Company, which was purchased in 1959 by Pacific Theatres/William Forman.

The theatre was twinned Dec. 15, 1976.

The Kuhio was the primary hard-ticket roadshow house for Consolidated . CinemaScope and stereophonic sound was first featured locally for The Robe on March 12, 1954. Todd-AO was introduced at the Kuhio for South Pacific on June 27, 1958. When the theatre first opened it had aisle carpeting that glowed under ultra-violet light.

It closed Nov. 30, 1995 and demolition began January 16, 1996.

Vincent Raney designed two other theatres for Honolulu after WWII, but they were never built.

I’ve been researching Hawaiian theatres for more than 50 years and wrote a book, Theatres of Hawaii, published by Arcadia in 2011. I’m always happy to hear from people with recollections of local theatres.

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