Queen Theater

3588 Waialae Avenue,
Honolulu, HI 96816

Unfavorite 2 people favorited this theater

Showing 22 comments

Jake Bottero
Jake Bottero on September 12, 2022 at 5:20 am

Sadly abandoned and destine to demolition or conversion into retail.

rivest266 on March 11, 2017 at 12:49 pm

June 29th, 1936 grand opening ad in the photo section and below

Found on Newspapers.com powered by Newspapers.com

DavidZornig on September 20, 2016 at 6:20 pm

Punk rock in the `80’s at the Queen photo added. Photo credit George FLee.

DavidZornig on September 20, 2016 at 6:17 pm

1947 & Now photo added courtesy of Patrick Frost.

OKCdoorman on August 10, 2016 at 11:14 am

Viewable in a couple of scene establishing shots in the Season 12/1980 Hawaii Five-0 episode, “For Old Time’s Sake.” The place must have already descended to its itch-house period; I don’t have access to expensive zoom software, but based on the word length and letter formations on the marquee, my guess is the Queen was showing at the time of filming two films from 1975: the cabin-crisis XXX-er WINTER HEAT, and director Wes Craven’s sole erotic venture, FIREWORKS WOMAN.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 19, 2015 at 9:05 pm

Friends of the Queen Theatre provides this web page with a brief history of the house. It says that the Queen was built by Franklin Theatrical Enterprises, operators of the King Theatre in downtown Honolulu, and was opened on June 29, 1936. It was designed by local architect Lyman Bigelow.

thisisjohnbook on March 19, 2015 at 6:16 am

Plan to restore historic Queen Theater set in motion. Nothing is happening yet but it’s the biggest news the Queen has had in 30 years.


ainahaina on December 9, 2013 at 8:48 am

I remember “Sleeping Beauty” there too. The line of kids went several blocks up Center Street. They must’ve been letting them in for a nickel apiece because Disney didn’t make too much money from that movie the first time around. Something like “Frozen” was way beyond anybody’s imagination.

Shigeaki on August 16, 2012 at 12:52 pm

When I was a high school student in the mid fifties, the Queen used to be a art house and I remember seeing a lot of them at that theatre. In the late fifties, the theatre was made into a first run venue by Royal Theatres. A 70mm-Six stereo system was installed for the showing of Disney’s SLEEPING BEAUTY and I saw it and it was fantastic. The theatre was also Royal’s only road show venue and THE LION IN WINTER and PAINT YOUR WAGON played there as reserved seat engagements.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 21, 2011 at 5:05 pm

thanks Jim for the update.

JimMitchell on December 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm

The Kaimuki’s owners (Consolidated, I think) tried making it an art house in the early 1960s. I saw my first Bergman film, The Virgin Spring, there. Times were already tough for free-standing, single-auditorum movie theaters by then. I left Hawaii a couple of years later and don’t know what the Kaimuki was like in the years before it closed.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 25, 2011 at 6:09 pm

I was going by what was said above Jucee,Hope it gets saved.This was a Yulcan Theatre along with the CAMEO gave up on X rated movies in the ninties and started showing mainstream films.Sadly they closed the Rex Twin Cinemas.

jucee711 on October 24, 2010 at 4:21 pm

What “bad part of town”??? Obviously, none of you have been to Kaimuki Town recently. There has NEVER been a “bad part of town” in this area. I was born and raised in Kaimuki, patronized the old Queen Theatre (before it went porno), saw my first Rocky Horror Picture Show there, and if anyone still remembers, Kaimuki Theatre, located a block away from the Queen (well, it was a block away, now torn down and a new commercial building in it’s place. I also remember the old Kress/Ben Franklin store, Thrifty Drugs, National Dollar Store and my favorite eating place, Aotani Okazu. Now all long gone. I also worked in Kaimuki Town for nine years from the mid 70’s to the mid 80’s…and BTW, I still live in Kaimuki. There has never been a “bad part of town” in the Kaimuki district. Yeah, the building is really sad looking now, but that is the owner’s (Narciso Yu)fault. When you don’t take pride in your property and let it go undeveloped for 25 years, this is the result. There have been many groups that have wanted to restore the theater to it’s former glory, but he (Mr. Yu) has been resistant to any discussions (or answering phone calls) regarding this.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 15, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Thanks CWalczak.Good article hope it can be saved,but if it is in a bad part of town as mentioned above it might be useless to try and open it.

CSWalczak on June 24, 2010 at 12:03 am

A local group has formed in an effort to preserve this theater: View link

ainahaina on March 28, 2008 at 6:53 pm

I remember back in 1954 when I was seven, coming to the Queen with my parents to see a movie, and being shocked by the poster for “The Creature from the Black Lagoon”. I was so scared that they were going to show a preview that I pleaded with my folks to take me home immediately. It wasn’t until many years later that I saw the film, and now I root for the monster!
I also recall the 1959 premiere of “Sleeping Beauty” and how the line went several hundred feet up Center Street.

kencmcintyre on December 12, 2007 at 7:35 pm

I took some pictures today. Lots of graffiti, dicey neighborhood. I don’t see much of a future for this building.

Vito on December 1, 2006 at 10:25 am

Sad picture, I wish some of those old theatres could been saved.
The Queen had a huge wall to wall curved screen and was was equiped to run 70mm.

Vito on March 21, 2006 at 2:19 am

Thanks Chuck, I haven’t been back to Hawaii since 1982, but I still have a lot of friends I keep in touch with. I was chief projectionist for Royal theates for a while and then head of the sight and sound department for Consolidated theatres. Sadly, all the great theatres are gone. I was there to close the Royal theatre, I’m glad I did not see the end of so many more.

Vito on August 16, 2005 at 1:04 am

Who operated the theatre when “Rocky Horror” played, and when did it close?

Vito on August 16, 2005 at 12:58 am

I remember working the Queen in the early 70s when it was owned by Royal theatres, It had 70mm capabilities thu rarely used it. Later Royal sold the theatre to a man named Mr.Yu who turned it into a hardcore porno theatre. In the mid 80s, during a porno crackdown, the police held a raid and everyone including a friend of mine who was the projectionist got arrested. That was pretty much the end of the theatres life as a movie house.