The 6 Best Historic Theaters in Hawaii!

Once home to silent films, the magnificent historic theaters across Hawaii have a story to tell. While many have been repurposed and refurbished over the years, they still hold onto their charm of decades’ past. For live theater, concerts, and film festivals, check out these six historic in theaters in Hawaii. 

1. Hawaii Theatre, Honolulu, HI

The Hawaii Theatre holds a lot of records. It is the second largest theatre in the state and the only remaining Vaudevillian theatre in Hawaii. It was built in 1922 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was fully restored and renovated in 1992, so present-day visitors can enjoy plays, concerts, and varying performances on the historic stage with its red velvet curtains and vaulted ceilings. The exterior is also a sight to behold with very eye catching neon lighting.

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2. Palace Theater, Hilo, HI

Palace Theater opened as a grand movie palace in 1925 by the Hawaiian businessman Adam C. Baker. Notably, the theater was constructed all of redwood trees and features Neo-Classical design features. After closing for several years, the Palace Theater was renovated and reopened in 1999 with an international film festival. The theater currently shows new and classic movies. 

3. Iao Theater, Wailuku, HI

Iao Theater follows the architectural style of Spanish Mission, with a large front balcony featuring prominently on the façade. The theater was built in 1928 and once held performances by Frank Sinatra, Mickey Rooney, and Bob Hope. After being shut down in the 1980s, the Iao Theater was restored in 1995 and included on the National Register of Historic Places. 

4. Honoka’a People’s Theatre, Honoka’a, HI

Built in 1930, the Hanoka’a People’s Theatre was the largest on the island at that time. It frequently showed Hollywood and international films to please the diversity of peoples on the island. The theatre closed in 1988 and was eventually purchased by a local doctor who restored the building’s interior and exterior. The theatre re-opened again in the 1990s and has since held music festivals, and concerts as well as mainstream and indie films.

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5. Aloha Theatre, Kealakekua, HI

The Aloha Theatre is unique among the theaters on this list as it is the home for the performing arts group called the Aloha Performing Arts Company. The theatre itself was built in 1932, and faced minor damage during a fire in 1948. It often showed both silent and talking movies during its heyday. Currently, the company uses it often to host live performances and community outreach in the arts.

6. Waimea Theater, Waimea, HI

The Waimea Theater is eye-catching with its green spire, but would you guess that it was originally built in 1938 and was the first with electric lights outdoors on the island? The original building was severely damaged by a hurricane in 1992, but was restored in the 1990s. It reopened in 1999 and has been showing movies in its historic interiors since. It also sometimes hosts live performances and international film festivals.

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79-7384 Mamalahoa Highway, Kealakekua, HI
Mission Statement:Aloha Performing Arts Company's mission is to enrich the lives of Hawaii residents and visitors by presenting quality theatre and... Read More
2833 East Manoa Road, Honolulu, HI
Our Company In 1969, a group of graduate students in the University of Hawaii Theatre Department founded Hawaii Performing Arts Company (HPAC). &n... Read More
520 Makapuu Avenue, Honolulu, HI
History: On April 28, 1915, a new theatrical group called The Footlights was born when Will Lewers, Mrs. Walter F. Dillingham, Helen Alexander, Ma... Read More
38 Haili Street, Hilo, HI
The Palace was built and opened in 1925 at the peak of the heyday for American movie palaces. It was originally part of a small family of theaters ... Read More
4411 Kikowaena Street, Lihue, HI
Our Mission Hawai'i Children's Theatre is committed to being a world-class, multi-cultural theater arts education program. Standing for excellence... Read More
91-5007 Kapolei Parkway, Kapolei, HI
About The Performing Arts Center of Kapolei (PACK) is an after-school theatre program for students of all ages.  PACKstarted as the Kapolei C... Read More
68 North Market Street, Wailuku, HI
History: Opened in 1928, and built in Spanish Mission style, this theater was once the main entertainment venue of the city of Wailuku, on Maui. B... Read More
848 South Beretania Street Suite 301, Honolulu, HI
History : Hawaii Opera Theatre has been delighting audiences since 1960. HOT’s first opera season opened with Madama Butterfly at the McKinl... Read More
1130 Bethel Street, Honolulu, HI
Mission : The Hawaii Theatre Center was established in 1984 as a private non-profit organization to restore, renovate and operate the Hawaii Theatr... Read More
46 Merchant Street, Honolulu, HI
Kumu Kahua Theatre is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) community theater located in Honolulu, Hawai`i. We would gratefully accept your donations and/or i... Read More
98-025 Hekaha Street Suite 221A, Aiea, HI
About us: Fifteen years ago (1991), Ed and Juliet Nix had a dream; to create a Performing Arts School in Hawaii. Which would become for local resi... Read More
9691 Kaumualii Highway, Waimea, HI
History: The Waimea Theatre originally opened on September 2, 1938 featuring the 20th Century-Fox production, "Josette", with Robert Young, Simone... Read More
74-5626 Alapa Street, Kailua Kona, HI
Founded in 1989 by a group of dancers committed to creating an environment of cultural excellence West Hawaii Dance Theatre (WHDT), under the Artis... Read More
67-1186 Lindsey Road, Kamuela, HI
Our MissionMaking a place where community, creativity, and inspiration thrive.Our VisionThe Kahilu Theatre is a flourishing multidisciplinary arts ... Read More
65-1290 Kawaihae Rd, Waimea, HI
Mission Statement: To provide an outlet for creative community involvement, while seeking to produce quality entertainment. Waimea Community Thea... Read More
68 N Market Street, Wailuku, HI
"Small Town Lawyer" by 2014 award-winner Anthony Pignataro. It's 1941, and Dick is a small town lawyer rising quickly in his firm. But after a part... Read More
81 North Church Street, Wailuku, HI
Mission: Enriching individuals, building community and connecting our world through the performing arts. About Us: Founded in 1974, Maui Academy... Read More
4534 Uahi Road Apt C, Lihue, HI
Mission/Vision: Women in Theatre (also known as "WIT") is dedicated to creating quality theatrical experiences for the Kauai community that pro... Read More
99-600 Kulawea Street, Aiea, HI
The 'Aiea Performing Arts Center (APAC) home of the 'Aiea Intermediate School Drama Club, Dance Club, and Junior Thespian Troupe #88855 is an after... Read More
1159 Nu`uanu Avenue, Honolulu, HI
Two free-wheeling adaptations of some of Shakespeare's greatest plays, improvised in the style of commedia dell'arte with archetypal characters, le... Read More
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