Choose the Historic Hawaii Theatre for Date Night in Honolulu
The Hawaii Theatre Center in downtown Honolulu is a great pick for an evening out on the town. The historic theatre is nearly a century old and plays host to touring concerts, film festivals, chamber music, and unique local acts.
Its location at the edge of Chinatown puts it in walking distance to restaurants on the cutting-edge of culinary innovation, as this part of town has seen a renaissance in recent years. Take your pick from hip ramen joints like Lucky Belly or fusion Hawaiian and Vietnamese fare like The Pig & The Lady, which has earned praise in Michelin Guides. A memorable meal is a great start to the evening before you head over to the theater, which also enjoyed a renaissance of its own in recent decades.
Called the "Pride of the Pacific" when it opened in 1922, the theatre was originally a venue for vaudeville acts and silent films. After a long run as a cinema, the theatre closed in 1984. Fortunately, it was spared from demolition when interested citizens obtained the building to ensure its future use. After its closure for over a decade and approximately $32 million spent in tireless and detailed restoration, the theatre reopened in 2004.
Today, the national landmark has been awarded and recognized for its historic preservation. In all its splendor, it remains a fantastic place to see a show.
The picture-perfect theatre has unique architecture, with a Neoclassical exterior and a lush, Beaux-Arts interior. A gorgeous proscenium frames red velvet curtains. Once you're seated, look up at the unique mural that tops the arch. It's the work of the distinguished Hawaiian landscape painter Lionel Walden. The 1929 mural, titled "The Spirit of Drama," was painstakingly restored after half of it was lost in the 1970s.
The theatre is filled with history, but it's a totally updated facility, with state-of-the art technology, excellent acoustics and a 1,350 seating capacity, which ensures an intimate experience. Many newer auditoriums lack the intimacy of the Hawaiian Theatre, where there isn't a bad seat in the house.
Refer to the event calendar to see what's on while you're in town. Tickets are available online, over the phone or in person. The theatre is located at 1130 Bethel St. in Honolulu.
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