Kuhio 1 & 2 Theatre

2095 Kuhio Avenue,
Honolulu, HI 96815

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davidcoppock on November 8, 2018 at 7:40 am

Opened as a twin with “The Pink Panther strikes again”.

Coate on July 27, 2017 at 11:32 am

New Showcase Presentations in Honolulu article includes mention of the numerous 70mm and roadshow presentations here and at other Honolulu cinemas.

rivest266 on March 12, 2017 at 4:04 pm

2 screens on December 15th, 1976. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

rivest266 on March 11, 2017 at 2:36 pm

June 21st, 1945 grand opening ad in the photo section and below:

Found on Newspapers.com powered by Newspapers.com

LowellAngell on June 2, 2016 at 4:37 pm

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.

ainahaina on December 10, 2013 at 7:58 pm

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.

steve_verno on June 7, 2013 at 5:21 am

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

CodyZamboni on January 27, 2013 at 1:30 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.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 15, 2010 at 2:45 pm

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

Vito on August 30, 2008 at 9:51 am

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.

kencmcintyre on August 30, 2008 at 8:42 am

Thanks for clearing that up.

Vito on August 30, 2008 at 3:18 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 on August 29, 2008 at 3:46 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.

kencmcintyre on August 29, 2008 at 3:40 pm

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

kencmcintyre on August 29, 2008 at 2:55 pm

There are two theater photos on this site, but they don’t seem to resemble the Kuhio as seen in the photos above. Perhaps after the conversion to a twin?

ainahaina on March 27, 2008 at 7:18 pm

In 1954 I saw “The Student Prince” featuring Edmund Purdom and “the singing voice of Mario Lanza” at the Kuhio, and the following year, Martin & Lewis' “You’re Never Too Young”. In ‘56 they featured “Away All Boats” and the management put a Radioplane target drone in the lobby and a M95(?) armored personnel carrier out front. I recall that someone said that the AAPC had to be trucked in because the tracks would have chewed up the pavement. Coincidentally, the Radioplane company was owned by actor Reginald Denny.

Vito on December 16, 2007 at 9:45 am

I headed the sight and sound team that turned the Kuhio into a twin. At the time, the original plan was to quad the Waikiki Twins, but the Kuhio was twinned instead. A lot od discusion went on about removing the Noreclco 35/70mm projectors, but in the end we replaced them with straight Century 35mm projectors and Orcon platters.

kencmcintyre on December 15, 2007 at 10:52 pm

The theater block is at the intersection where Kuhio runs into Kualakua. A Niketown store is the primary tenant of the current building. This area has a mile of upscale stores including Tiffany, Gucci, Prada and so on.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 2, 2007 at 11:20 pm

Here’s a pre-construction architect’s rendering of the Kuhio Theatre.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 26, 2007 at 3:36 am

The Kuhio Theatre opened on 21st June 1945. It was designed by San Francisco architect Vincent G. Raney for the Consolidated Amusement Co.

foxguy on December 17, 2005 at 2:54 am

We were married in the Soldier’s Chapel on 30 June 1956 at Schofield Barracks. Our first home was an efficiency apartment one block from the Kuhio Theater We’re going back for our 50th next year and wanted to have our picture taken in front of our apartment building with the Kuhio Theater in the background. Sorry to hear that the theater is gone. I had a picture of the theater, but can’t attach it. sorry

jonlarge on November 18, 2004 at 9:28 am

I remember when the Kuhio was “twinned” and I realized this was marked the beginning of the end for the theater. “The Sound of Music” and “South Pacific” played here as well as “Hawaii” though I was not living in Honolulu when they did. With the Waikiki theaters (Waikii 1, 2, &3) and the Cinerama gone – no more big screen experience in Honolulu. Anyone remember the Royal? That housed “Fiddler on the Roof” and all the Disney movies!

ChuckVanBibber on October 10, 2003 at 9:49 pm

I visit Hawaii at least three times a year as a vacation spot. I remember well the Kuhio. While on honeymoon my wife and I saw a movie there and on the way out of the theatre we stopped in the Sun Glass shop to the left of the theatre lobby and bought sun glasses. The movier we saw was “Arthur”. We seemed to make the Kuhio a movie house favorite everytime we were in Hawaii until it closed. What a lovely theatre and a sad shame that it is now gone. With the closing of the Wakiki 3 there is no other tehatre left in Wakiki proprer to see a movier.

Jake on October 10, 2003 at 9:26 pm

Many memories of another grand twin theater thats no longer there. The Kuhio Twins as I remembered sat on the corner of Kuhio Avenue & the cross street (darn I forget) I always checked out and stared for hours at their streamline of current movie posters that were playing at the Cinerama, Kapiolani & Waikiki’s 1-3 which are no longer there. The interiors of the theater and lobby always fascinated me. The auditoriums were so dimly lit I often had a heck of a time trying to see where I was going.