On Wednesday, August 22,1928, the Iao Theater opened its doors to Maui audiences for the first time. In its day, the Iao Theater was one of 5 theaters in Wailuku town. Designed by architect Edward Walsh in the Spanish Mission style, the theater originally sat 700.
From the Maui News – “This afternoon the public will have the opportunity to inspect the new Iao Theater and tonight it will be put to use for the first time as a place of entertainment and amusement. Of its coming popularity there can be no question”.
In June 1994, the Iao Theater was placed on the Hawaii Register of Historic Places. In February of 1995, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The “Grand Dame of Wailuku” has seen a lot over the years. Generations have enjoyed movies, concerts, and plays within her concrete walls. The old girl is showing her age, but she’s still got her lipstick on (her red tile roof) and her nails done (her celadon colored tiles in the outside lobby). A gentle reminder of a more elegant time. With a little touch of kolohe (“rascal”), of course!
Help US help the Iao Theater!
As the theater remains closed for going on 5 months now, we are taking this time to do lots of cleaning, organizing, and repair projects. But without being able to do any shows, our bank account is dwindling down. By October, we’re going to be in real trouble. We could use some help… to literally keep the lights on.
Show your LOVE and APPRECIATION for the Historic Iao Theater and all she has meant to YOU over the years by DONATING today!