Kapahulu Theatre

611 Kapahulu Avenue,
Honolulu, HI 96815

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Consolidated Theatres

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Kapahulu Theatre Honolulu HI 1972 ad

The Kapahulu Theatre was owned by Consolidated Theatres and opened February 21, 1936 with Dick Powell & Ruby Keeler in “Shipmates Forever”. It closed in March 1980 and was demolished in April 1980.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Vito on May 12, 2006 at 11:32 am

Thanks Chuck for another Hawaii adition.
We did indead close the Kapahuku but I thought it may have been as early as February of 1980, but I would have to research that. The building was torn down and replaced with retail space. I have no stories about this old gal, it was not much of a theatre, just a plain neiborhood house as I remember it.

stevemcgarrett on May 13, 2006 at 6:58 am

I was sooo fortunate to have gone to this ol theater back in the mid 70’s to see “The Drowning Pool” w/ my mom…..
Me thinks the theater folded was the location it was at…
And the popularity of Beta & VHS

stevemcgarrett on May 13, 2006 at 7:01 am

I also wanna add….
When is other long gone theaters like Kapiolani, King Twins , & Marina Twins gonna grace its presence?

Vito on May 13, 2006 at 12:33 pm

Ok guys, here is as best as I can remember.
I do not recall the Kapiolani ever being operated by Royal; Consolidated ran it the whole time I was in Hawaii. However, there was a previous independent owner from Japan, possibly Nippon, which may have sold the theatre to Consolidated. Chuck, you mentioned the theatre was picked up by Consolidated in 1986, however Royal had sold all of its interests by then. I still remember Consolidated running “Star Wars” there, day and date with the Cinerama in 1977. I also recall in 1982 when the Royal theatre closed, we took the main gold waterfall stage curtain and installed it at the Kapiolani, the Royal had a second Blue traveler title curtain which we donated to a local school.
When Royal Development Company (Royal Theatres) began to dissolve in or around 1981, it’s two
Drive-ins, Waialie and Royal Sunset, were closed, the Queen was leased to a guy by the name of Mr. Yu who operated it as a porno house, Mr. Yu desperately wanted the King twin as well, but Royal’s Herman Rosen would not allow it. The Royal was closed and demolished in 1982, I drove Royal Theatres CEO, Herman Rosen, by the theatre as the first wrecking ball hit the building, he wanted to be there when the theatre he loved so much took it’s last dying breath. The Marina Twins, which by the way did not open in the 50s but in 1974, was built and operated by Royal, it was originally going to be called the Ilikai Twin, but problems with the corporation operating the Ilikai Hotel caused the name change. The Marina Twin was eventually taken over by Consolidated in the mid-late 1980s.
Royal’s other theater, the Kings Alley in Waikiki, was operated for a short time by Consolidated until it closed. Royal also built the Jerry Lewis twin in Kaneohe during 1972 and ran it a while before leasing it to an independent owner who changed the name to the Kaneohe Twin.
If you want more specific info on any of this let me know and I will try and recall what I can. I wore a lot of hats in those days, very little went on in the theatres in Hawaii that I was not involved with.

stevemcgarrett on May 14, 2006 at 4:14 am

Hey Vito thanks for the recap. And yes Kapiolani was Consolidated ALL THE WAY until its very end.

Vito on May 14, 2006 at 10:07 am

Consolidated and Royal always had a great professional relationship.
The CEOs were friendly rivals, if a Royal theatre went down, Consolidated was always there to help get it back up and running.
There were no booking wars, the movies were played based on studio.
Royal had exclusive rights to all Paramount, Disney and Avco Embassy releases and Consolidated played the rest. Now and again a popular film would cross over from Consolidated to Royal to play a second run. An example of that was the re-make of “A Star Is Born” which had a long run at Consolidated’s Waikiki#3 and then moved over to Royal’s Marina Twin. Both played the film in 35mm four track stereo.

LowellAngell on April 17, 2010 at 5:03 am

The Kapahulu was built and always operated by Consolidated; opened February 21, 1936; closed in March, 1980; demolition began April 2, 1980. It had a very plain interior, as did most of Consolidated’s 1930s neighborhood houses (the Toyo Theatre was one of the wonderful exceptions!), but it did have some fancy architectural detailing on the exterior.

thisisjohnbook on January 21, 2013 at 6:04 am

One article states Feb. 19, 1980 was the last night they had shown a film. Not sure of the title.

rivest266 on March 11, 2017 at 8:43 pm

This opened on February 21st, 1936. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

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