Famous for its lush beauty and inviting beaches, Hawai‘i also boasts a rich theatrical history dating back to the mid-19th century and spanning its years as a kingdom, U.S. territory, and a state. Its warm, tropical climate and social, cultural, and ethnic diversity contributed to the variety of theatres unique to the islandsfrom simple, rural plantation theatres on the neighbor islands, to neighborhood movie houses in exotic styles, to an incomparable tropical moderne jewel near the beach at Waikiki. Most of these theatres are now just a memory, except for those few saved by dedicated individuals and restored for another life. This book celebrates the rich history of these theatrical venues through rare archival photographs and little-known details.
About the Author
Lowell Angell, born and raised in Honolulu, became fascinated with Hawaiian theatres as a teenager and had his first summer job with Consolidated Amusement Company. He has been actively involved with theatres for more than 45 years as an avid historian and preservationist. He is the immediate past president and current secretary of the Theatre Historical Society of America, a national nonprofit organization; a cofounder and past president of the Hawai’i Theatre Center, the group that saved and restored Honolulu’s 1922 Hawai‘i Theatre; a former board member of Hilo’s Friends of the Palace Theater; and a director of Honolulu’s Friends of the Queen Theater. He lives in Honolulu and is with the University of Hawai‘i.
Table of Contents
1 Early Years in the Kingdom of Hawai'i 9
2 The New Territory of Hawai'i 17
3 Downtown Palaces and More Playhouses 33
4 Neighborhood Theatres Everywhere 65
5 he Waikiki Theatre, Honolulu's Tropical Jewel 89
6 Hawai'i at War and Afterwards 107
7 Innovation and the Last Hurrah 123