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The Hawaii Theatre - View from center stage (interior). by Hawaii Pacific News

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Hawaii Pacific News Hawaii Pacific News
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Mar 17, 2011
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Mar 17, 2011
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The Hawaii Theatre was built in 1922 by Consolidated Amusements of Honolulu as a venue for theatre, popular entertainment, and film. In the mid-1930s, the Hawaii Theatre became predominately a popular grand movie palace, and remained such until the advent of television in the 1950s. Beginning in the 1950s, the Hawaii slowly debilitated as a movie palace until Consolidated Amusements announced the closing of the theatre in 1984. The building was nurtured, pending its disposition, by the Aloha Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society. ATOS interest was anchored by the continued residence of the Robert Morton Unified Orchestra Theatre Organ, one of two Consolidated had brought to the islands in 1922.

In 1984, the Hawaii Theatre Center was formed by interested citizens to protect the Hawaii from demolition by obtaining the Hawaii Theatre and a sufficient land base to insure future viability. In 1986, the Hawaii Theatre and the adjacent Austin, Pantheon and McLean Buildings were purchased. The Hawaii continued to operate on a limited basis, under the direction of the Hawaii Theatre Center, until the fall of 1989 when it was closed for renovation.

After an award-winning interior renovation led by Malcolm Holzman of Hardy, Holzman, Pfeiffer Associates (New York); the Hawaii Theatre was rededicated and re-opened on 26 April 1996. Since its dedication, the Hawaii has once again become a popular venue for national touring shows, theatre, concerts, industrials, film, television; and has attracted hundreds of thousands of patrons back through its doors to witness its resurgence as Honolulu's preeminent venue.

On November 4, 2004; the Hawaii Theatre Center completed its restoration of the exterior of the Hawaii Theatre. The facade restoration included the stabilization and repair of spalling plaster; restoration of architectural details; new paint; a restored flagpole; a newly manufactured replica of the familiar art deco neon marquee, featuring computerized LED signage; and a newly manufactured replica of the hallmark "HAWAII" vertical neon sign.

The historic Hawaii Theatre is owned and operated by the Hawaii Theatre Center, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and hosts over one hundred thousand guests annually. The Theatre is a key component of efforts to revitalize Honolulu's Downtown/Chinatown neighborhood. In 2005, the Hawaii Theatre was recognized as the "Outstanding Historic Theatre in America" by the League of Historic American Theatres. In 2006 the Hawaii Theatre Center was the first small nonprofit recipient of the Hawaii Better Business Bureau's "Torch Award for Business Ethics."

The Hawaii Theatre restoration is a tribute to the entire community, and was restored for all to enjoy, kama`aina (locals) and malihini (visitors) alike.

- Courtesy of The Hawaii Theatre, www.hawaiitheatre.com Will open in a new tab or window


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