Showcase Presentations in Honolulu
A Chronology of Large Format and Roadshow Exhibition, 1957-Present
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The 70mm Newsletter
|Written By: Claude Ayakawa & Michael Coate||Date: 25.07.2017|
Continuing the “Showcase Presentations in…” series, we now proudly present: Honolulu, Hawaii.
Part 1: The Cinemas
|Cinerama Theatre; The Honolulu Advertiser; May 22, 1980; photo by Charles Okamura.|
CINERAMA — The Cinerama Theatre was located on the outskirts of downtown Honolulu near the Waikiki district. It was once the Pawaa Theatre, a neighborhood house that was converted in 1962 to a 3-strip Cinerama venue for the Hawaii premiere of “The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm” at which time the theatre was renamed the Cinerama. After the showings of the two dramatic Cinerama films (“Brothers Grimm” and “How the West Was Won”), the Cinerama revived some of the original travelogues in the process which had previously screened at the Princess. Soon after that the theatre was converted to 70mm for the showings of single-strip Cinerama films starting with “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” and followed by “Circus World”, “The Greatest Story Ever Told”, “Khartoum”, “2001: A Space Odyssey”, and others. The single-strip version in 70mm of “This is Cinerama” was also shown, but in my opinion, it paled in comparison to the original three-strip version I saw at the Princess many years earlier. After there were no more 70mm films labeled as Cinerama, the Cinerama Theatre started to show first-run, general-release films mostly in 35mm but also numerous 70mm showings including re-releases of “Gone With the Wind” and “Ben-Hur”, all three of the original “Star Wars” films, “Alien”, “The Rose”, “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home”, “The Last Emperor”, “Gettysburg”, and so many others. Along with the Waikiki Twins, the Cinerama was my favorite theatre in Honolulu. It was equipped with the latest and best HPS-4000 sound system by John Allen and was a gorgeous theatre with burgundy-colored drapes and seats. The theatre was operated by Consolidated Amusement Company and later Consolidated Theatres, and closed in 1999. For many years the company was owned by California-based Pacific Theatres. Consolidated is celebrating its 100-year anniversary this year.
KAHALA — Like the Cinerama, the Kahala was opened by Consolidated and now owned by Reading International, a company based in Australia. The Kahala is part of a five- (and later expanded to eight-) auditorium complex at the Kahala Mall in southeastern Honolulu. The largest house in the complex, which opened in 1985, featured seating for about 700 and the 70mm projection equipment is said to have come from the Royal which had closed a few years earlier. The Kahala played “Good Morning, Vietnam” and Disney’s animated “Beauty and the Beast” in 70mm as moveovers. Sadly, the 70mm equipment was not retained when the house was converted to digital. During the days of film, the house was also equipped with John Allen's HPS-4000 but not the high-end version as the Cinerama's. I enjoyed watching movies at the Kahala but compared to other Honolulu theatres the showings were nothing special.
KAILUA DRIVE-IN — I have never been to the Kailua Drive-In Theatre. It too was operated by Consolidated, and it opened in 1965 and was located in nearby Kailua. Except for its 70mm capability it was a typical drive-in theatre. The only known 70mm screening was “My Fair Lady”. The movie played there after its long roadshow engagement at the Cinerama. The projection equipment is believed to have come from the Kaiser Dome after they stopped showing movies. The Kailua Drive-In no longer exists.
THE HENRY J. KAISER ALUMINUM DOME — The Kaiser Dome Theatre was located on the grounds of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel and was chosen as the site of the Hawaii premiere of “Around the World in 80 Days”. The Dome was operated by Henry Kaiser himself and it was a devastating blow to Consolidated who was expecting the rights to play “80 Days” when Kaiser got the rights. I had always thought “80 Days” played in 70mm at the Dome because they had the projection equipment but instead it played in a special 35mm print format that was of such high quality it made me think I was watching it in 70mm. When I saw the movie at the Dome, I recall the image looking very vivid on that very huge curved screen, which was much larger than the screen at the Cinerama which opened a few years later. I do not know if the 35mm print used the standard 4-track mag or not, but I recall the sound was full and rich. After “80 Days” finished its engagement, the Dome tried to remain a movie theatre but with Consolidated and Royal Theatres having exclusive first-run rights to almost all Hollywood movies, the Dome ceased to be a movie theatre and became a night club.
KAPIOLANI — The Kapiolani Theatre was located in the heart of the city of Honolulu on the site that was once the first drive-in theatre in Hawaii that was closed and demolished because the land was too valuable to operate such a venue. When Consolidated Amusement Company put the land on sale after demolishing the drive-in, the Toho Motion Picture Company of Japan purchased a parcel to build a theatre and show their films. When the theatre was completed and opened, it was named the Toho. I believe it was the first of two Toho theatres they owned and operated in the United States. (The other one was in Los Angeles and was called the Toho LaBrea.) The theatre, which opened in 1964, was very successful and premiered in the United States such films as “Tokyo Olympiad”, “Kwaidan”, “Red Beard”, and so many others. The theatre completely used Japanese design both in its exterior and interior and was equipped with stereophonic sound, but I had never heard any movies there played in stereo, even Perspecta, which Toho used a lot especially with the films of Akira Kurosawa they distributed. I do not know why the Toho closed after years of very successful operation, but as soon as they did Consolidated promptly leased the theatre and in 1976 renamed it Kapiolani. The Kapiolani enjoyed many years of successful operation as a first-run theatre with a new face, all the facade of a Japanese movie theatre was replaced with drapes in the auditorium after having all the beautiful Japanese ornaments removed from the walls. I do not know if Toho had installed 70mm or if Consolidated did upon their takeover, but it did have the large format capability by 1984 for the Hawaii premiere of “Dune”. Other first-run films the theatre showcased in 70mm included “Spies Like Us” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”. The Kapiolani also presented the restored Director’s Cut of “Lawrence of Arabia” in 70mm and that was a treat. After years of successful operation, the multiplex boom took a toll on single-screen operations and the Kapiolani was among the first that closed. When it did, the building was converted into a pizza parlor and a Blockbuster video store.
KOKUSAI — The Kokusai Theatre was in operation before I was born. The original theatre was near River Street where there were many other Japanese businesses. During World War II, the Kokusai Theatre was forced to change its Japanese name and be known as the International Theatre. After the war, some still referred it as the International but the older Japanese, like my parents, called it the Kokusai Gekijo. After being at the same location for many years, in the mid-1960s the owners of the theatre built a brand new theatre a couple of blocks away. The Kokusai was a theatre devoted to exclusive first-run showings of films from the Daiei Motion Picture Company and in actuality the house along with the Nippon, Toho and Toyo were the outlets for the American premieres of film from Toho, Shochiku and Toei, in addition to the Kokusai's Daiei films. Although the Kokusai was equipped with 70mm projection and stereo sound, as far as I can remember, they were never used despite the fact that Daiei photographed two films in the 8-perforation Technirama process and released them in both 70mm and 35mm. Both “Shaka” (aka “Buddha”) and “The Great Wall” played at the Kokusai in 35mm and mono. After many years of successful operation, the theatre closed but the original building still stands today at the corner of Nuuanu and Beretania.
KUHIO — The Kuhio was built in 1945 and was located in the Waikiki district of Honolulu. It was known as the showplace for the most prestigious motion pictures from Hollywood. It was a Consolidated Amusement Company theatre and at the time the exclusive venue for roadshow attractions. The pre-wide gauge era roadshows the Kuhio presented included “Duel in the Sun”, “Quo Vadis”, and one of the most popular movies to have been filmed in Hawaii: “From Here to Eternity”. Because Cecil B. DeMille’s “Samson and Delilah” and “The Greatest Show on Earth” played the Kuhio as a roadshow, the filmmaker insisted “The Ten Commandments” also have its roadshow at that theatre despite the fact that Paramount Pictures, the distributer, had an exclusive first-run contract with Consolidated's competitor, Royal Amusement Company. The reasoning was due to the fact that Royal did not have a classy theatre in Waikiki to do the film justice, and DeMille got what he wanted. In 1954, six months after premiering in New York, the Kuhio became the first theatre in Hawaii with CinemaScope and presented “The Robe”, and in 1958, the Kuhio became the first Hawaiian Islands theatre with 70mm for the Hawaii premiere of “South Pacific”. After “South Pacific”, the Kuhio played many other films in 70mm including “Ben-Hur”, “The Sound of Music”, “Solomon and Sheba”, “Ryan’s Daughter”, and many others. In 1959 the Kuhio had a revival showing of “Around the World in 80 Days” which was presented for the first time in Hawaii in 70mm. The Kuhio presented films in 35mm that were shown elsewhere in 70mm including “Finian’s Rainbow”, “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” and “The Shoes of the Fisherman”, and others either as a roadshow or at popular prices. The Kuhio also played “Hawaii”, starring Julie Andrews and which was filmed on the Hawaiian Islands, in a 35mm roadshow engagement.
The Kuhio was not as ornate as Consolidated’s other theatre in the district, the Waikiki. It was very plain and simple but had seating for about 800 and was very comfortable. Projection was first rate, especially in 70mm, although the sound was nothing special. The Kuhio was twinned in 1976, and closed in 1995 and demolished.
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|Princess Theatre; July 22, 1958; image courtesy Honolulu Magazine.|
PRINCESS — The Princess Theatre on upper Fort Street in downtown Honolulu opened on September 8, 1922 by Consolidated Amusement Company as both a movie and a live performance theatre. It was a huge theatre with seating for 1600 people and had stadium seating. In the early fifties, once I became old enough to go to Honolulu to see movies, this theatre became one of my favorites. I believe the first movie I saw at that theatre was “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” with Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward and Ava Gardner on the largest movie screen I ever saw in my life. Consolidated advertised it as the MagnaScreen. The Princess was a huge theatre and the screen must have been about sixty feet wide and fifty five feet high or even larger. It was very immense! I recall the huge image looking very grainy because of the extra-large magnification from the 35mm film frame. In late 1958, the Princess became the showplace for three-strip Cinerama with the opening of “This is Cinerama”. Within a year, all of the original Cinerama films played at the Princess as reserved-seat roadshow engagements, and after all the three strip films finished their run, the theatre reverted back to a standard 35mm theatre. The Princess was never a 70mm theatre but it did have a very large scope screen with a four track magnetic stereo sound system after CinemaScope was introduced. I recall two 70mm films playing their first run at the Princess in 35mm. They were “Porgy and Bess” and “The Cardinal”. “The Cardinal” played with mono sound but “Porgy and Bess” was in beautiful mag stereo. Sadly, due to the land that was needed for a condominium building project, the Princess Theatre closed in 1968 and the building was demolished soon after.
QUEEN — Before the Royal opened, the Queen was the flagship house of Royal Theatres. The theatre, built in 1936, still exists today but it has been closed for over twenty-five years. The building is in the Kaimuki district in northeastern Honolulu in an almost neighborhood part of the city. During its days of glory, it was a theatre devoted to showing classic and foreign films and was equipped for 70mm for the Hawaii premiere of Walt Disney's “Sleeping Beauty”. The theatre became a roadshow venue and presented “Paint Your Wagon” and “The Lion in Winter” as reserved-seat attractions. “Paint Your Wagon” was released in some markets in 70mm but for some reason despite it being presented as a reserved-seat roadshow engagement, the movie played the Queen in 35mm, and to add insult to injury, the sound was mono. There were many more 70mm films that played in 35mm such as “The Big Fisherman” and that was a pity. I seem to recall only one other 70mm film to play at the Queen besides “Sleeping Beauty”: “Mediterranean Holiday”, and it was great! As I had stated, the Queen closed over twenty-five years ago after a period of time where it was an adult theatre. Today, the building is still intact and the owners and community leaders have been trying to find ways to reopen the theatre as a performing arts venue.
ROYAL — Herman Rosen and his Royal Theatres chain finally had a theatre in Waikiki when they opened the Royal Theatre with “Becket”, starring Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole, on October 15, 1964. Although the house was fully equipped for both 35mm and 70mm, “Becket” played at the Royal only in 35mm and the sound was only mono and not mag stereo. Unlike other cities, “Becket” played a regular run at the Royal and not as a reserved-seat roadshow attraction as other major American cities did. The Royal was a gorgeous theatre with beautiful wall draperies and two stage curtains. It did not have a stage but the screen was a flat type and very large. It had seating for about eight hundred people. Two notable cinema events that I know of took place at the Royal. First, a "World Premiere" of the pilot episode of “Hawaii Five-0” for CBS executives took place at the Royal in February 1968. (The show was picked up by the network and ran for twelve seasons.) The second event I remember taking place at the Royal was an extra special sneak preview (i.e. test screening, presumably in 35mm) of Randal Kleiser's “Grease”. It was a roughly-edited version of the film and in March 1978 Kleiser brought it to Honolulu for an audience's first reaction. It played to a sold out house and was a tremendous success. In 1966 a revival booking of “Oklahoma!” in 30fps 70mm was held. Scheduled to screen was a 70mm revival of “Around the World in 80 Days”, but the extremely longer than expected run of “The Godfather” prevented it. They were also scheduled to play “Hurricane” in 1979 in the large format, but plans did not work out and the theatre played it in 35mm. Among the other films to have played the Royal in 70mm included “In Harm’s Way” and “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”. The Royal Theatre closed their doors with the showing of “Tron” in the large film format in 1982. I happened to have been a part of the audience that night at the Royal for its final show and it was very sad. Not only did the Royal Theatre close that night but the entire Royal Theatre chain closed with it because of financial difficulties. The Royal was only in business for eighteen years and that too was very sad. Today, an all-you-can-eat restaurant occupies the location of the Royal Theatre.
About Royal Theatres: Consolidated always had another motion picture chain competing with them. Today it is Regal Entertainment but in the old days up until the 1980s, it was the Royal Development Company also known as Royal Theatres. Its CEO was a gentleman named Herman Rosen. When I was old enough to venture out to other theatres besides the one in my hometown to see movies, many of them were at a Royal theatre. At the time, the company had only five theatres. They were the King, Palace, Queen, Roosevelt and the Waianae Drive-In. Later, they added the Royal, Royal Marina Twin and the Royal Sunset Drive-In. The company originally had first-run film rights with Republic Pictures, but in the early 1950s, they acquired exclusive first-run rights to all Paramount Pictures and soon after that with Walt Disney. They also had rights to all pictures from Embassy Pictures, a company that no longer exists. For a very short time, Royal had rights to Universal Pictures but after about a year rights reverted back to Consolidated. Royal Theatres also had first-run rights for United Artists films but it was not an exclusive contract because Consolidated also had rights to show some films from that company too. Something unusual happened in 1959 when both Royal Theatres and Consolidated opened United Artists’ “The Horse Soldiers” starring John Wayne and William Holden at the same time. This was the first time anything like this ever happened and never did again when the two chains had exclusive studio contracts.
VARSITY — The Varsity Theatre, located in central Honolulu, opened on September 8, 1939, as a Consolidated Amusement house with John Wayne's “Stagecoach”. The building was designed by C.W. Dickey, a very well-known architect at the time, and I was told that the same building plans were used for the construction on the Hilo Theatre on the big island of Hawaii and both buildings were identical. The Hilo was completely destroyed by the Tsunami that struck in 1960. For many years, the Varsity was a neighborhood theatre and in the early 1950s was one of only two Consolidated theatres showing dual-projection 3D films. In 1966, it became a reserved-seat roadshow theatre with the Hawaii premiere of “The Bible” in 70mm. Although the film was the first of only two movies photographed in Dimension 150, the Varsity’s new screen was not the specially designed D-150 deeply curved screen but it was only a standard 2.20:1 ratio screen for 70mm presentations. After “The Bible”, the Varsity also hosted roadshows of “Doctor Dolittle” with Rex Harrison, “Star!” with Julie Andrews, and “The Sand Pebbles” with Steve McQueen. Besides these first-run roadshow pictures, the Varsity also presented a 70mm revival of “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Lawrence of Arabia”.
Besides the showing of movies, the Varsity was leased by the State of Hawaii for the University of Hawaii that was located nearby to use the house for classroom lectures that required a very large auditorium. The theatre also hosted the Hawaii Film Festival for a couple of years.
On March 22, 1985, the Varsity reopened after it was closed for a few weeks to be converted into a twin theatre. It was sad to see the big house with a large 70mm screen and about 800 seats downsized into two smaller auditoriums, but the conversion was not as dreadful as what had happened to the Kuhio when it was twinned. The much smaller screen in the two houses were fine for movies that were produced in a flat 1.85:1 ratio, but movies that were supposed to be projected on 2.35:1 ratio screens left much to be desired. After it was twinned, the Varsity mostly presented "art house" films and did very well with them.
WAIKIKI TWINS — The Waikiki Twins were located in the heart of Waikiki in back of the original Waikiki Theatre. The Waikiki Twin Theatres #1 & #2 opened on September 23, 1970, with the co-World Premiere showing of “Tora! Tora! Tora!” along with Tokyo, New York and Los Angeles. When the film opened, Theatre #2 was still under construction and it did not open until a few weeks later. “Tora! Tora! Tora!” played in Theatre #1 in 70mm as a reserved-seat engagement, and it was the only time the Twins had presented a film as a roadshow. When House #2 opened it along with House #1 were identical. The auditoriums were very large with seating for about 900 and with matching wall and stage curtain. Both screens were very large with a slight curve. Many films played in 70mm at the Twins including “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, “Pink Floyd: The Wall”, “Gandhi”, “Ghostbusters”, “Starman”, “Cocoon”, “Top Gun”, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, and so many others. The two houses had a top of the line HPS-4000 sound system by John Allen and at the time the Twins were considered to be one of America's best sounding theatres along with the Waikiki #3 a half a block away. During the “Digital Sound Wars” of the 1990s, both houses were equipped for Dolby Digital (SR-D), but House #1 was also equipped with SDDS. After the multiplex theatre boom took root in shopping malls all across the country and, sadly, single-screen large theatres like the Cinerama and others slowly closed one after each other, the Twins too eventually closed. Today the building still stands but it now a Ross Dress for Less store.
WAIKIKI 3 — The original Waikiki Theatre that would later be known as the Waikiki #3 was a 1,350 seat theatre that opened on August 20, 1936, with “Under Two Flags” as the flagship of Consolidated Amusement Company’s many theatres. The building was designed by local architect C.W. Dickey who had designed many other Consolidated theatres and featured two box offices on the extreme right and left side of the front of the theatre on Kalakaua Avenue across from the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in the Waikiki district of Honolulu. Between the walkway into the theatre was a beautiful fountain filled with Kos, a Japanese carp. The lobby was gorgeous with its ornate wall murals and the atmospheric designed auditorium had tropical plants on both sides and a full size coconut tree on the left and right side of the screen. Above the screen was a rainbow that was beautiful to watch when one enters the house between shows and the ceiling featured tiny blinking lights against a deep royal blue that resembled stars in the early evening ski. The Waikiki also featured an A4 Model 16 Rank Robert Morton organ.
During the golden age of Hollywood cinema when the theatre opened until probably the early 1960s, a brand new major first-run movie would have its very first showing at 10:15 every Friday night at the Waikiki and a week later, the film would make its rounds starting with a showing at either Consolidated's Hawaii or Princess Theatre and trickle down to all the neighborhood theatres.
The Waikiki was the venue for the world premiere of some movies filmed in Hawaii or about Hawaii's people: “Bird of Paradise”, “Go for Broke” and “The Revolt of the Mamie Stover”.
In 1983, after many years in operation, the Waikiki closed for remodeling for a couple of months and the theatre was completely remodeled. All of its very beautiful features both exterior and interior except for the Robert Morton organ and the Waikiki Theatre tower sign above the building were completed removed. The remodeled theatre opened in June 1983 and was at this point equipped with 70mm and the top of the line HPS-4000 sound. Although I was very sad the old Waikiki was no more and replaced with a modern look and technology, I was very happy about its new features. Many movies played their run at the Waikiki 3 in 70mm including “Batman”, “Cobra”, “Beaches”, “Empire of the Sun”, and many others.
Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 Vietnam War epic “Apocalypse Now” was booked to play the Waikiki where, sadly, it was not able to be screened in 70mm. And Steven Spielberg's sci-fi classic “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” opened first at the Waikiki in 35mm, but after a few weeks the booking was relocated to the Waikiki #2 where it was eventually screened in 70mm (but without Dolby as the theatre wouldn’t install a Dolby processor until years later).
The Waikiki was the only Honolulu theatre to feature Sensuround for the first-run of “Earthquake” in 1974. Sensurround was featured again when the Waikiki presented “Midway” and “Rollercoaster”.
Like so many other large single venues, the Waikiki became another theatre that was forced to close, in 2005, due to the multiplex theatre boom. The only thing that was saved was the Robert Morton organ when parts from it went to the Hawaii Theatre in downtown Honolulu and the Palace Theatre in Hilo on the big island. The theatre tower sign on top of the building was also saved and it is featured on top of the new building that was built after the Waikiki Theatre was demolished
Other large-format venues on Oahu included the IMAX WAIKIKI. There was also the POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER, located in Laie, about 30 miles away from Honolulu on the North Shore of Oaha. These theatres screened a special venue version of 70mm and thus are not the focus of this article (though details might be included in a future revision).
Part 2: The Engagements
|Roadshows (i.e. reserved-seat engagements) are listed with an asterisk following their title.|
m/o = a move-over engagement (i.e. a continuation of a booking from another cinema)
IMAX and other special venue presentations have not been included.
YYYY-MM-DD … TITLE … Cinema (duration in weeks) [notes or projection process if other than 70mm]
1957-11-01 … AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS* … Kaiser Aluminum Dome (25) [35mm]
1957-12-13 … THE TEN COMMANDMENTS* … Kuhio (11) [35mm]
1958-06-27 … SOUTH PACIFIC* … Kuhio (13)
1958-07-22 … THIS IS CINERAMA* … Princess (10) [Cinerama]
1958-10-03 … SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD* … Princess (10) [Cinerama]
1958-12-12 … CINERAMA HOLIDAY* … Princess (7) [Cinerama]
1959-01-30 … SEARCH FOR PARADISE* … Princess (8) [Cinerama]
1959-03-20 … SLEEPING BEAUTY … Queen (6)
1959-03-26 … SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE* … Princess (9) [Cinerama]
1959-06-12 … AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS … Kuhio (3)
1959-12-25 … SOLOMON AND SHEBA … Kuhio (4)
1960-05-17 … CAN-CAN … Kuhio (7)
1960-07-07 … BEN-HUR* … Kuhio (15)
1961-05-09 … EXODUS … Kuhio (5)
1961-06-15 … SPARTACUS … Kuhio (9)
1962-01-18 … WEST SIDE STORY … Kuhio (8)
1962-03-15 … KING OF KINGS … Kuhio (6)
1962-06-07 … EL CID … Kuhio (8)
1962-12-05 … BUDDHA … Queen (2) [unconfirmed]
1962-12-11 … THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM* … Cinerama (13) [Cinerama]
1963-03-12 … HOW THE WEST WAS WON* … Cinerama (27) [Cinerama]
1963-03-19 … MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY … Kuhio (7)
1963-05-29 … LAWRENCE OF ARABIA … Kuhio (10)
1963-08-07 … CLEOPATRA … Kuhio (19)
1963-09-18 … WINDJAMMER* … Cinerama (6) [Cinerama]
1963-11-01 … THIS IS CINERAMA* … Cinerama (2) [Cinerama]
1963-11-15 … CINERAMA HOLIDAY* … Cinerama (2) [Cinerama]
1963-11-27 … SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD* … Cinerama (2) [Cinerama]
1963-12-20 … IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD* … Cinerama (28) [“Cinerama”]
1964-07-01 … CIRCUS WORLD* … Cinerama (14) [“Cinerama”]
1964-10-09 … OKLAHOMA! … Cinerama (2)
1964-10-23 … WEST SIDE STORY … Cinerama (3)
1964-11-13 … SOUTH PACIFIC … Cinerama (3)
1964-12-25 … MY FAIR LADY* … Cinerama (31)
|1965-03-31 … THE SOUND OF MUSIC* … Kuhio (81)|
1965-04-08 … IN HARM’S WAY … Royal (5)
1965-07-27 … THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL* … Cinerama (12) [“Cinerama”]
1965-10-20 … THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD* … Cinerama (17) [“Cinerama”]
1966-02-16 … BATTLE OF THE BULGE* … Cinerama (14) [“Cinerama”]
1966-02-16 … MY FAIR LADY … Kailua Drive-In (1)
1966-05-25 … THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY … Cinerama (5)
1966-06-29 … KHARTOUM* … Cinerama (12) [“Cinerama”]
1966-09-21 … DOCTOR ZHIVAGO* … Cinerama (30)
1966-10-14 … OKLAHOMA! … Royal (1)
1966-10-18 … HAWAII* … Kuhio (34) [35mm]
1966-12-23 … THE BIBLE* … Varsity (13)
1967-03-22 … THE SAND PEBBLES* … Varsity (27) [35mm]
1967-04-19 … GRAND PRIX* … Cinerama (27) [“Cinerama”]
1967-06-14 … THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE* … Kuhio (21) [35mm]
1967-10-25 … GONE WITH THE WIND* … Cinerama (20)
1967-11-08 … CAMELOT* … Kuhio (21) [70mm from Week #7]
1968-01-11 … MEDITERRANEAN HOLIDAY … Queen (1)
1968-01-24 … DOCTOR DOLITTLE* … Varsity (23)
1968-03-13 … FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD … Cinerama (4)
1968-06-07 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY* … Cinerama (29) [“Cinerama”]
1968-11-06 … FINIAN’S RAINBOW* … Kuhio (14) [35mm]
1968-12-18 … THE LION IN WINTER* … Queen (14) [35mm]
1968-12-19 … STAR!* … Varsity (9)
1968-12-20 … CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG* … Kapahulu (13) [35mm]
1968-12-23 … ICE STATION ZEBRA* … Cinerama (13) [“Cinerama”]
1969-05-22 … SWEET CHARITY* … Kuhio (11)
1969-05-28 … OLIVER!* … Kapahulu (16) [35mm]
1969-06-25 … KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA … Cinerama (14) [“Cinerama”]
1969-09-17 … FUNNY GIRL* … Kapahulu (14) [35mm]
1969-10-01 … BEN-HUR* … Cinerama (5)
1969-12-17 … GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS* … Kuhio (9) [35mm]
1969-12-17 … HELLO, DOLLY!* … Cinerama (19)
1969-12-18 … PAINT YOUR WAGON* … Queen (10) [35mm]
1970-03-04 … PATTON* … Kuhio (16)
1970-05-06 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY … Varsity (2)
1970-09-23 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY … Kuhio (3)
1970-09-23 … TORA! TORA! TORA!* … Waikiki 1 (co-world premiere screening)
1970-09-24 … TORA! TORA! TORA!* … Waikiki 1 (29)
1970-12-25 … RYAN’S DAUGHTER … Kuhio (10)
1970-12-25 … SONG OF NORWAY* … Cinerama (9)
1971-05-07 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY … Cinerama (1)
1971-05-14 … GONE WITH THE WIND / ICE STATION ZEBRA … Cinerama (1)
1971-05-21 … WHERE EAGLES DARE / GRAND PRIX … Cinerama (1)
1971-07-14 … CLEOPATRA … Kuhio (1)
1971-12-15 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY … Cinerama (1)
|1972-02-16 … FIDDLER ON THE ROOF* … Cinerama (15) [35mm]|
1972-04-26 … THE CONCERT FOR BANGLADESH … Waikiki 2 (3) [unconfirmed]
1973-03-28 … MAN OF LA MANCHA*… Cinerama (8) [35mm]
1973-05-24 … THIS IS CINERAMA* … Cinerama (4)
1974-10-04 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY … Cinerama (4)
1974-10-16 … GONE WITH THE WIND … Kuhio (4)
1975-11-14 … GONE WITH THE WIND … Cinerama (4)
1975-11-26 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY … Waikiki 1 (1)
1976-09-29 … GONE WITH THE WIND … Waikiki 2 (1)
1977-06-08 … STAR WARS … Cinerama (64) [70mm from Week #20]
1978-02-08 … CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND … Waikiki 2 (9) [70mm from Week #6]
1978-08-30 … SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND … Cinerama (5)
1979-05-25 … ALIEN … Cinerama (18)
1979-11-09 … SLEEPING BEAUTY … Royal (4)
1979-12-14 … THE ROSE … Cinerama (13)
1980-05-21 … THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK … Cinerama (30)
1980-09-26 … DIVINE MADNESS … Waikiki 2 (3)
1981-02-06 … ALTERED STATES … Waikiki 2 (4)
1981-03-27 … FAME … Cinerama (4)
1981-05-22 … OUTLAND … Cinerama (5)
1981-06-19 … SUPERMAN II … Waikiki 2 (9)
1982-03-05 … QUEST FOR FIRE … Waikiki 2 (6)
1982-05-28 … ROCKY III … Waikiki 2 (13)
1982-06-04 … STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN … Royal (10)
1982-06-11 … E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL … Waikiki 1 (27)
1982-06-18 … ANNIE … Cinerama (13)
1982-08-13 … TRON … Royal (4)
1982-09-17 … PINK FLOYD: THE WALL … Waikiki 2 (4)
1982-11-19 … THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK … Cinerama (4)
1982-12-17 … THE DARK CRYSTAL … Cinerama (8)
1983-01-21 … GANDHI … Waikiki 2 (9)
1983-05-13 … BLUE THUNDER … Waikiki 2 (6)
1983-06-03 … WARGAMES … Waikiki 1 (9)
1983-06-24 … RETURN OF THE JEDI … Cinerama (24)
1983-07-29 … KRULL … Waikiki 3 (3)
1983-09-30 … BRAINSTORM … Waikiki 3 (4)
1984-05-23 … INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM … Cinerama (17)
1984-06-01 … STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK … Waikiki 1 (6)
1984-06-08 … GHOSTBUSTERS … Waikiki 2 (17)
1984-09-19 … AMADEUS … Cinerama (11)
1984-12-07 … 2010 … Cinerama (8)
1984-12-14 … DUNE … Kapiolani (6)
1984-12-14 … STARMAN … Waikiki 1 (5)
1985-03-29 … RETURN OF THE JEDI … Waikiki 1 (2)
1985-05-22 … RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II … Waikiki 2 (14)
1985-06-21 … COCOON … Waikiki 1 (12)
1985-11-27 … ROCKY IV … Waikiki 3 (11)
1985-12-04 … YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES … Waikiki 2 (2)
1985-12-06 … SPIES LIKE US … Kapiolani (8)
1986-05-10 … TOP GUN … Waikiki 1 (sneak preview screening)
1986-05-16 … TOP GUN … Waikiki 1 (21)
1986-05-23 … COBRA … Waikiki 3 (4)
1986-07-18 … ALIENS … Waikiki 2 (12)
1986-11-26 … STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME … Cinerama (13)
1987-06-03 … THE UNTOUCHABLES … Cinerama (7)
1987-12-09 … THE LAST EMPEROR … Cinerama (16)
1987-12-11 … EMPIRE OF THE SUN … Waikiki 3 (5)
1988-01-15 … GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM … Waikiki 3 (16)
1988-05-06 … GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM … Kahala m/o (3)
1988-06-22 … WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT … Kapiolani (18)
1988-12-23 … BEACHES … Waikiki 3 (15)
|1989-05-24 … INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE … Waikiki 3 (4)|
1989-06-02 … LAWRENCE OF ARABIA … Kapiolani (4)
1989-06-23 … BATMAN … Waikiki 3 (13)
1989-06-23 … INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE … Waikiki 1 m/o (9)
1989-07-07 … LETHAL WEAPON 2 … Waikiki 2 (7)
1989-08-25 … LETHAL WEAPON 2 … Waikiki 1 m/o (3)
1990-06-01 … TOTAL RECALL … Waikiki 2 (8)
1990-06-15 … GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH … Waikiki 1 (1)
1990-06-22 … GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH … Kapiolani m/o (3)
1990-10-05 … FANTASIA … Cinerama (8)
1991-03-01 … THE DOORS … Waikiki 2 (5)
1991-07-02 … TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY … Waikiki 3 (14)
1991-11-22 … BEAUTY AND THE BEAST … Waikiki 3 (5)
1991-12-25 … BEAUTY AND THE BEAST … Kahala m/o (21)
1992-05-09 … FAR AND AWAY … Cinerama (sneak preview screening)
1992-05-16 … FAR AND AWAY … Cinerama (sneak preview screening)
1992-05-22 … FAR AND AWAY … Cinerama (7)
1992-06-05 … PATRIOT GAMES … Waikiki 2 (9)
1992-12-25 … HOFFA … Waikiki 1 (3)
1993-05-28 … CLIFFHANGER … Waikiki 1 (5)
1993-06-30 … CLIFFHANGER … Cinerama m/o (3)
1993-10-08 … GETTYSBURG … Cinerama (2)
1993-12-10 … GERONIMO: AN AMERICAN LEGEND … Waikiki 2 (2)
1993-12-25 … GERONIMO: AN AMERICAN LEGEND … Waikiki 1 m/o (3)
1996-02-09 … 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY … Cinerama (1)
1996-02-16 … LAWRENCE OF ARABIA … Cinerama (1)
1996-03-01 … THE WILD BUNCH … Cinerama (1)
Note that some of the 70mm presentations included in this listing were presented in 35mm during the latter weeks of engagement due to print damage and the distributor’s unwillingness to supply a 70mm replacement print or because the booking was moved to a smaller, 35mm-only auditorium within a multiplex. As well, the reverse may have been true in some cases whereas a booking began with a 35mm print because the lab was unable to complete a 70mm print order in time for an opening-day delivery or the exhibitor negotiated a mid-run switch to 70mm. In these cases, the 35mm portion of the engagement has been included in the stated duration figure.
References: Various issues of Boxoffice, The Honolulu Advertiser and Variety, and Dolby sound system installation records, and projector and sound system trade advertisements.
Special Thanks: Bill Huelbig, the California State Library and the Hawaii State Library.
If you believe this article contains any errors or omissions, please consider emailing the authors Claude Ayakawa & Michael Coate or the editor.
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