3-3194 Kuhio Highway,
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Styles: Spanish Colonial
Previous Names: Lihue Theatre, Lihu'e Music Hall
The Lihu'e opened in 1931, seating over 800, and was designed in Spanish Mission style at a cost of about $70,000. When it opened, it was one of the largest movie houses built in Hawai'i. It was operated for many years by Consolidated Amusements, but closed during the 1980’s.
The Lihu'e was heavily damaged by Hurricane Iniki in 1992, and there was talk of tearing it down. However, rather than entirely demolish the historic movie palace, which is listed on the Kauai Historical Building Inventory and is eligible for placement on the National Register of Historic Buildings, it was converted in the mid-1990’s to senior citizen housing.
The facade, lobby and foyer areas of the Lihu'e Theatre were retained and beautifully restored to their 1930’s appearance, but the auditorium portion of the theater was gutted and converted into 21 apartments. The lobby of the former Lihu'e (now known as the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Senior Apartments) features a gallery which relates the history of the popular movie house. In 2000, the Lihu'e Theatre conversion project won an award from the Historic Hawai'i Foundation.
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