Opened in 1928, and built in Spanish Mission style, this theater was once the main entertainment venue of the city of Wailuku, on Maui. Besides screening movies, it featured live stage acts, and such stars as Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra made appearances at the 'Iao. In 1953, the theater hosted the Hawaiian premiere of "From Here to Eternity".
By the early 80s, the theater was in decline, and after it closed, was seriously threatened with demolition. However, a community effort to save the theater was led by Wailuku Mainstreet Association, and in 1995-1996, underwent a million dollar-plus renovation. In 1995 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior.