Hawaii Cinerama

1550 S. King Street,
Honolulu, HI 96826

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Consolidated Theatres

Architects: Louis Davis

Functions: Auto Repair Shop

Styles: Atmospheric

Previous Names: New Pawaa Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 808.973.6335

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News About This Theater

Former Hawaii Cinerama February 2013

Situated just outside the Waikiki area, this theatre was Honolulu’s oldest operating movie house and one of its few remaining single screen palaces.

The Cinerama theatre was actually constructed in 1928 and opened as the New Pawaa Theatre on 5th January 1929 with William Haines in “Telling the World”. It was designed with a beautifully Atmospheric Tropical-style interior. The theatre was overhauled in 1962 and renamed the Cinerama Theatre on its reopening December 11, 1962. In April 1968 “2001, A Space Odyssy” opened here.

Through the 1990’s, the Cinerama continued to be a haven for classic and second run films. However, with profitability hard to come by, the theatre was closed in 1999, bringing an end to a grand chapter in Hawaii’s cinematic history.

The former Hawaii Cinerama, the theatre that delighted millions became a Riley Auto Parts store.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 109 comments)

papakolea51 on December 19, 2016 at 11:18 am

The Pawaa Theater was almost like a home to us in the late 50’s and early 60’s. My grandfather, George E. Lake III, was the manager of the theater and conducted Saturday morning “kiddies programs” that included him performing magic tricks (he was also a performing magician), kiddie games while he played music (musician as well) and birthday celebrations before showing a Mickey Mouse or other kiddie show. Needless to say, we were there almost every Saturday when we weren’t playing sports. I miss those days…next to the theater was a small seed store operated by a nice old Chinese man. He offered seeds and preserves in big jars as well as 5 cent green river drinks! My grandfather later moved to the Princess Theater and Hawaii Theaters in downtown Honolulu. Those were the days!

rivest266 on March 11, 2017 at 10:49 am

This opened as Pawaa on January 5th 1929. Grand opening ad with pictures in the photo section as well as:

Found on Newspapers.com powered by Newspapers.com

rivest266 on March 12, 2017 at 8:50 am

This reopened as the Cinerama theatre on December 11th, 1962. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

Coate on July 27, 2017 at 11:33 am

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

RickT on May 15, 2018 at 3:55 pm

Great memories of when I was stationed on Oahu from late 1983 to early 1987. This place was very “old school” cool to me, and I remember shopping for music and books at Froggies, across the street, almost every time we saw a film here. So sad that it, like so many other Honolulu theaters, is gone.

MSC77 on December 30, 2021 at 3:55 pm

Here’s a new 4-page 50th anniversary FIDDLER ON THE ROOF retrospective featuring a roadshow playdate chronology and historian Q&A. The Cinerama’s lengthy run is mentioned in the piece.

Jake Bottero
Jake Bottero on September 12, 2022 at 4:46 am

Is now vacant, the auto parts store has moved on.

tabanger on July 27, 2023 at 8:04 pm

That’s not right. O'Reilly Auto Parts still occupies that location.

m00se1111 on July 28, 2023 at 3:47 am

Indeed. According to the O'Reilly Site and also Google Maps, this is still an active location. However the autoparts company lists the address as 1558 S King Street, and is listed as Punahou Auto Service (the cross st)

DavidZornig on July 28, 2023 at 7:49 am

The main entrance of the O'Reilly’s is at the rear of the former theatre building, adjacent to a parking lot accessed via Punahou Street. So that is likely why the address is different than that of the theatre, as well as probably for postal reasons, since no mail slot/box appears on King Street. The King Street entrance to the building appears to be closed off, so all must enter through the rear. Though signage on the King Street elevation reads “Entrance In Front Of Store”… It was Checker Auto Parts prior to O'Reilly’s in 2009. Whose entrance was also in the rear as of then. Google Street View switches from 2019 to 2009 if one scrolls around a bit.

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