Hawaii Theater Center 100 years of creation


HONOLULU (KHON2) – Imagine this, in September 1922, the Hawaii Theater Center opened its doors to the public to provide entertainment for the community.

And imagine, 100 years later, that continuing as they enter a new chapter.

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To learn more about Hawaii Theater Center’s celebratory year, KHON2 caught up with Hawaii Theater President and CEO Gregory Dunn.

100 years is a milestone.

KHON2 asked Dunn if he could paint a picture of the genesis of the theater?

“The Cohen and Magoon families, owners of Consolidated Amusements at the time, began planning in 1915 to open the theater in 1920,” Dunn said.

“It was created to be a great showcase for the City and County of Honolulu and at the time, the Territory of Hawaii, to be the pride of the Pacific. We think they did a phenomenal job and we are grateful to all volunteers for helping and restoring the facility and reopening in 1996.”

Gregory Dunn, President and CEO of Theater of Hawaii Gregory Dunn

KHON2 also asked Dunn if he could share his experience of progressing through the pandemic and if it changed his mind or operations on how to move forward in the next 100 years?

“We’ve been working during the pandemic to create livestream programming and digital content that has extended our brand across the globe,” Dunn said.

“We had over 270 performances reaching 3.5 million people,” Dunn explained. “Put this into context, we normally only serve 100,000 people a year in person at the theater. So now we’re generating more content and programming for the rest of the year.

One thing that KHON2 noticed from the Hawaii Theater is the events that screen movies but also have the opportunity to talk to its actors.

KHON2 asked what is expected for the future and in particular for the centenary events?

“We have the Princess Bride in August and Napoleon Dynamite in September, where our audience can come in, watch the movie together, relive some old laughs and then have a Q&A session,” Dunn said.

“So we’re going to do more interactive engagements, and then as part of our centennial, one of the spectacular speeches we’re going to do is the Hawaiian cultural event. So we’re working with cultural practitioners to put together a program We hope people go to the website, check it out, and get tickets to support your local Hawaii Theater nonprofit.

Gregory Dunn, President and CEO of Theater of Hawaii Gregory Dunn

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For more on what’s to come here at the Hawaii Theater Center, Click here.

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