On April 28, 1915, a new theatrical group called The Footlights was born when Will Lewers, Mrs. Walter F. Dillingham, Helen Alexander, Margaret Center and Gerrit Wilder appeared in The Amazons by Pinero. The performance took place at the Honolulu Opera House, where our main Post Office on Merchant Street now stands. The legacy of those theatre lovers has grown into the third-oldest, continuously operating theatre in the entire United States.
In 1934, The Footlights reorganized and took on a new name: Honolulu Community Theatre. In the original mission statement still honored today, the theatre committed itself to community service through the art of theatre, involving the people of Hawaii as audience members, stage crew and performers.
During World War II, Honolulu Community Theatre productions entertained thousands of troops at over 300 performances throughout the Pacific (a tradition we continued with the Pacific tour of Ain't Misbehavin' during the 1990 season). Then, in 1952, Honolulu Community Theatre took up residence in the Fort Ruger Theatre, the Army Post's then movie house. Major refurbishments to make that structure a fully modern venue for stage productions included the addition of scene and costume shops, installation of lighting and sound systems, handicapped-accessible restrooms, a first-ever lobby for our patrons and an upstairs addition for expanded office space, spotlights, and sound and lighting boards.
Then, in 1990, came a new name for an old friend and Honolulu Community Theatre became Diamond Head Theatre. With a new energy and professionalism, Diamond Head Theatre is committed to excellence and community involvement now more than ever before.
Each season we offer six mainstage theatrical productions, including five major musicals, on a scale that rivals that of Broadway. We provide theatre workshops to train residents of Hawaii in the theatrical arts. Acting, voice and dance classes for children, teens, and adults are offered throughout the year. The Diamond Head Theatre Shooting Stars, a youth performing arts troupe, provides exposure and polish to the rising young stars of tomorrow. Finally, more than 15,000 volunteer hours per season keep Diamond Head Theatre at the forefront of local theatre and provide volunteers with experience in the arts and job skills in the theatrical industry.
Diamond Head Theatre, the Broadway of the Pacific, is proud of its 90-year history and enthusiastic about its growth and future.