Toyo Theatre

1230 College Walk,
Honolulu, HI 96817

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Consolidated Theatres

Architects: Charles William Dickey

Firms: C.W. Dickey & Associates

Styles: Oriental, Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Aala Theater

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Toyo Theatre

The Toyo Theatre opened June 16, 1938, designed by noted Hawaii architect C.W. Dickey. The theatre was located on College Walk near Beretania Street and served the Japanese population in Honolulu’s Chinatown. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the theatre was renamed Aala Theater on December 31, 1941 and presented English language movies only. It reverted back to the Toyo Theatre name after the end of World War II. The theatre presented both live shows and movies, though by the late-1960’s and early-1970’s it was showing adult movies.

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

teecee on April 28, 2005 at 8:16 am

An example of Edo period architectural style, it was modeled after the famous Ieyaso Shrine in Nikko, Japan. (National Park Service – cultural resources programs)

teecee on April 28, 2005 at 8:23 am successfully fought to save the theatre from demolition. They probably have a lot of information on the history.

Patsy on May 15, 2005 at 8:20 pm

TC: I just visited and will look to see if I can find out any Hawaiian theatre history. I’ve been studying all of the Dickey Hawaiian theatres and am so sad that the Waikiki is now committed to the history books….and all for a Foot Locker and a California Pizza restaurant!

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 26, 2007 at 5:02 am

The Toyo Theatre was opened by the Consolidated Amusement Co. on 16th June 1938. It was aparently briefly re-named the AALA Theatre in 1949-1950.

TinCanAlley on September 25, 2010 at 2:49 pm

It was the most beautiful theater that I have ever
been to. I really wish that they’d kept it up & restored it.
I have very good memories of watching Samurai movies there in the late 50’s, early 60’s.

ChrisB on May 14, 2013 at 1:26 am

There’s some good footage of the Toyo in the 1988 movie Aloha Summer.

magicman1433 on June 26, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Does anyone remember the name of the movie that played here as the second feature to the Kikaida 3D movie from the 70’s?

hochiinn on July 31, 2016 at 11:07 am

i used to go here when i was a student at the uh manoa. on tuesday, and i dont remember if it was weekly or monthly, they would have a new run. generally, it was a yakuza/samurai double feature. i would get a box of 6 wings from kentucky fried chicken(1.25$ at the time), the admission was 35 cents with student discount, and 25 cents for a coke. many times i would be the only one there. one time, a drunk was arguing with the movie, and he finally charged the screen. he tripped and hit one of the seats, and knocked himself out cold. coupla guys came and dragged him out. place was really beat up, but one could tell that at one time, it was a nice place. i also remember going to the kailua theater(we lived in lanikai) and the admission was 12 cents. one day, my friend swallowed his dime fooling around, and couldnt go in. we also went to the grand opening of princess theater when they first converted it to the 3 camera cinemascope.

rivest266 on March 11, 2017 at 3:41 pm

This opened on June 16th, 1938. Article below: これは1938年6月16日にオープンしました。

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rivest266 on March 11, 2017 at 3:52 pm

Renamed Aala on December 31st, 1941.

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