Saturday, April 5, 2008

Kailua's Last Picture Show

From Pacific Business News:

"Kailua will lose its last movie theater at the end of the month when the Keolu Center Cinemas close down.

Hollywood Theaters made the decision last year that it would close the four-screen theater at the Keolu Shopping Center when the lease expired on April 30.

It will be the company's third theater in Kailua to close. Portland, Ore.-based Hollywood Theaters closed the three-screen Enchanted Lake Cinemas in the Enchanted Lake Shopping Center in 2003, and the two-screen Kailua Theatres on Hahani Street two years later."

Back when we lived in Kailua in the 1960s, there was one, and only one, movie theatre in town, the massive old Kailua Theatre, at the junction of Kailua Road and Oneawa Street. My brother and I saw "A Hard Day's Night" there in 1964, and "Help!" the following year. This was built at least 20 years before we moved there (probably more) but not much info about the place is available on the web. It's now a car lot.

However, Kailua resident Robert "Rabbett" Abbett, who runs a great website about Kailua and vicinity called "H4", kindly directed me to this vintage picture Grady Morgan took of the place in 1942.

On May 1, 1965, the massive Kailua Drive-In opened. This was located just off the Pali Highway just before Castle Junction, and could hold 1750 cars! This later closed, and for a time was used as the site for weekly flea markets. It is now the home of the sprawling multi-million dollar campus of the private Le Jardin School which my brother Steve attended when it was in the basement of a church on Kailua Road...