The Hawaii Theatre
When it first opened its doors in 1922, the Hawaii Theatre was considered the prize jewel of downtown Honolulu—local residents, in fact, proclaimed the 1,400-seat house the "Pride of the Pacific."
Built by Consolidated Amusement of Honolulu, the theater carried an elegant neo-classical theme with stately Corinthian columns, marble statues, plush carpeting and drapery, and a domed ceiling that changed colors. The theater’s double cantilever balcony, with no pillars blocking the view of the main floor, was considered an architectural marvel at the time. And then there was perhaps the theater’s most breathtaking feature: Lionel Walden’s mural, Glorification of the Drama, which presided over the proscenium arch.
In 1984, it took a group of concerned citizens to rescue the theater from being demolished. Just five years later, in the fall of 1989, the entire facility was closed for a $30-million renovation.
Finally, in April 1996, the Hawaii Theatre reopened to rave reviews. Even Lionel Walden’s mural was faithfully restored.