Mamo Theatre

Mamo Street,
Hilo, HI 96720

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Yura-Kwan Theatre

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The Yura-Kwan Theatre opened in 1921 and was renamed the Mamo Theatre in 1937 when it was remodeled. The theatre was originally a flat floored theatre but was elevated in the rear during to remodel into a stadium style. The theatre continued as a movie theatre until 1983.

The Hilo Community Players used the theatre after it closed as a movie theatre. When the theatre was remodeled the auditorium was extended into where the stage once was and a new stage house was added on. There were three Carrier Air Conditioners added at this time.

On April 16, 1995 the roof over the original stage house collapsed and after a few weeks the theatre was demolished.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

RobertR on March 21, 2005 at 8:11 am

The whole place looks like it could have collapsed.

Johnnytodd on March 21, 2005 at 10:19 am

Looking at the photo it seems like a miracle that this theater wasn’t destroyed. I am a big believer in fate.

kencmcintyre on September 15, 2007 at 11:57 am

In 1981, the Mamo was part of the Royal Theaters chain, headquartered in Honolulu. President was Irving H. Levin. The other Royal theaters at that time were the King Twin in Honolulu, the Waialae Drive-In in Kahala, the New Royal and Royal Marine Twin in Waikiki Beach and the Royal Sunset Drive-In in Waipahu.

dallasmovietheaters on December 12, 2020 at 9:39 am

The Yuraku-Kwan Theatre launched on July 30, 1919 located near Mooheau Park. On December 3, 1919, the theatre switched to Hollywood films with a contract with Universal Studios and International News Service for newsreels. Two new projectors elevated the presentation.

When the Empire Theatre was rebuilt, its Hollywood studio bookings were moved there beginning on March 13, 1921. The theatre didn’t covert to sound and became a popular venue for Japanese, Chinese and Filipino patrons sometimes featuring live Polynesian music.

The theatre was purchased by the Franklin Circuit and became the Mamo Theatre launching with 996 seats which arrived late postponing opening from September 3d to September 24th, 1937 likely using some part of the Yuarku-Kan.

Royal Theatres of the West Circuit took on the venue retaining its manager. In fact, the Mamo had just one manager from 1945 to its final day of operation on September 10, 1982 ending its movie run with “Tron.” The theatre was then used for live stage plays. On April 17, 1995 the roof partially collapsed and two months later another collapse ending the building’s run. It was replaced by a parking area and Farmers' Market.

BTW: It was never called the Yara-Kwan Theatre.

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