LIHUE, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A cinema in the heart of Lihue will soon close its doors for good — an apparent business fatality of the COVID-19 crisis.
The Kukui Grove Cinema 4 announced its closure on its website, saying March 31 will be the final day. After the stay-at-home order and social distancing mandates, the cinema stopped movie operations and began selling off its stock of concessions to stay afloat.
For about the last decade, the cinema served as Kauai’s only full-time movie theater after the closure of the twin-screen Coconut Marketplace Cinema in 2008.
The Waimea Theater on Kauai’s West Side remains, but doubles as a stage for other community events. They have temporarily closed their doors during this ongoing pandemic.
According to a report by The Garden Island Newspaper, Marlene Blair, who has owned the cinema for the last 35 years, said closing the doors for good is a result of the pandemic mixed with weak attendance by movie goers as many switch to in-home movie streaming services.
The Garden Island also reports that at one time, Kauai had more than a dozen movie theaters around the island.
The Old Lihue Theatre was one of them. It was was opened from the 1930s to the 1980s and remains standing on Kuhio Highway. Today, it serves as a retirement home, but the movie-theater style building front remains with a billboard spreading the message of ‘Live Aloha.’
As for the Kukui Grove Cinema, its not yet known what the building will be used for going forward.