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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Kapaa in Kauai County, Hawaii — Hawaiian Island Archipelago (Pacific Ocean)
 

Roxy Theater

1939-1992

 
 
Roxy Theater Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, February 17, 2011
1. Roxy Theater Marker
Inscription. Roxy Square stands on the lot where the largest movie theater in the islands was built by W.A. and Agnes Scharsch Fernandez in 1939. Designed by the well-known Honolulu architect C.W. Dickey, it was modeled after the famous Roxy Theater in New York City. With its state-of-the-art sound system, music drifted along the Kapa'a streets. Every one of the 1,050 seats had a clear view of the large silver screen. The interior Art Nouveau style, red velvet curtains, red seats and a lower and upper balcony entranced patrons. Ocean breezes entered through large vents, keeping the theater cool. Ushers wore black pants and white long-sleeved shirts, just like the New York Roxy.

The opening on November 18th, 1939, featured "Lady of the Tropics", with Hedy Lamarr and Robert Tayler and "Goodbye Mr. Chips" with Robert Donat plus The Charles Kaneyama Orchestra. Later, opera stars Marian Anderson and Lauritz Melchior sang there. In 1992, Hurricane Iniki seriously damaged the theater, requiring it to be torn down. Roxy Square, a small shopping center, was built by the son of the owners to commemorate it and the memory of his parents.

Rainbows over Kapa'a, a memoir by Bill Fernandez, tells the story of the Roxy Theater and Kapa'a. www.wfernandez.com
 
Location. 22° 4.522′ 
The Roxy Theater image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, circa 1948
2. The Roxy Theater
The above picture, as depicted on the marker, may date from 1948, based on the release date of one of the movies on the marquee, "The Bride Goes Wild", which was released in March 1948.
N, 159° 19.132′ W. Marker is in Kapaa, Hawaii, in Kauai County. Marker is at the intersection of Kuhio Highway and Kauwila Street, on the right when traveling south on Kuhio Highway. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4-1345 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa HI 96746, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 15 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Kapaa Japanese Stone Lantern (Ishidoro) (approx. 0.2 miles away); Houola (approx. 2.5 miles away); Albert S. Morgan Sr.'s Lydgate Pools (approx. 2.6 miles away); Poli'auh Heiau (approx. 3.1 miles away); Wai'ale'ale (approx. 3.3 miles away); Maunakapu and Wailua River (approx. 3.3 miles away); Daniel K. Inouye (approx. 12 miles away); Hanalei Schoolhouse (approx. 14.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Kapaa.
 
More about this marker. The marker is mounted on the left front corner of the building.
 
Also see . . .
1. Bill Fernandez - Hawaiian Author. Bill Fernandez' book, Rainbows over Kapa'a tells the story of how his parents built and operated the largest theater in Hawaii. (Submitted on February 21, 2011.) 

2. Roxy Square - History. The history of the Roxy Theater: "... Many thought it was a grand mistake, but when the Great War did break
Roxy Theater Opening Flyer image. Click for full size.
1939
3. Roxy Theater Opening Flyer
This flyer publicized the opening of this grand theater in Kapa'a, a big event for a sleepy island.
out, the island was soon home to thousands of military personnel with little else to do ... except go to the movies. Fernandez's great mistake was a hit. For 63 years it provided a place of entertainment for thousands of locals, tourists, and U.S. servicemen. Over the years, stars like Lauritz Melchior, Yehudi Menuhin, and Marion Anderson appeared at the Roxy Theater. At the height of its entertainment life Roxy Theater and its surroundings was the liveliest place on Kauai."
(Submitted on February 21, 2011.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Roxy Theater marker
Mahalo! My husband is the son of the builders of Roxy Theater who wrote the memoir about it, Rainbows Over Kapa'a. I felt it important to mark the history of the family and theater and am so excited to see it on this site! I hope many more people find it now. Kapa'a is a pretty unique place with a unique history for the islands. Bill gives wonderful author talks describing hukilau, sings some Don Ho, chants an oli, shows photos of life in Kapa'a in the 30's, 40's and to modern day. The DVD of it can be purchased from the Kaua'i Historical Society. Through the process of writing the memoir and Bill's talks, I have learned how important it is to record our personal histories. Many mahalos for
Kapa'a flood of 1941 - Roxy Theater image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, circa 1941
4. Kapa'a flood of 1941 - Roxy Theater
taking the photos and the time to post this. Judith Fernandez www.wfernandez.com
    — Submitted February 27, 2011, by Judith Fernandez of Kapa'a, Kaua'i, Hawai'i.

 
Categories. Entertainment
 
Roxy Square, former site of the Roxy Theater (1939-1992) image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, February 17, 2011
5. Roxy Square, former site of the Roxy Theater (1939-1992)
Built on the site of the Roxy Theater in 1993 after it was wrecked by Hurricane Iniki, Roxy Square today houses The Glass Shack, Eastside Cruisers, and JJ's Pizza Pie.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 1,379 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   2. submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   3, 4. submitted on , by Judith Fernandez of Kapa'a, Kaua'i, Hawai'i.   5. submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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