A wall of VHS-format films dominates the lobby
of the Movie Museum in Kaimuki. It’s balanced by a wall
full of movie posters, everything from Under the Tuscan Sun,
to The Scarlet Claw.
This well-hidden, little-known movie theater is an experience
unlike any other in Honolulu. Instead of a theater full of old
wooden seats, the Movie Museum is full of leather recliners,
which patrons agree are far more comfortable than traditional
Open Thursday through Monday, from noon to 8 p.m., this movie-going
experience is worth checking out.
The Movie Museum was opened in 1989 by movie-lover Rick Kraemer.
In 1991, it was purchased by current owner Dwight Damon, who
shares Kraemer’s love and passion for film.
We have more than 15,000 movies here, and I know where to find
every one,” said Damon.
What makes this movie theater different is the atmosphere—oh,
and the price. Once you pay for your $5 seat ($4 if you are a
member,) you are escorted to an assigned recliner.
Not only are you going to watch a film in comfort similar to
being in your own living room, but you are able to bring in your
own food and drink. These small alterations to a regular theater
allow you to personalize your movie-going experience.
Each time of day has a following and they don’t often come
at a different time,” said Noel, a Movie Museum regular.
Independent movie theaters are hard to come by, which is what
led me to the Movie Museum. I attended a Sunday, 5:30 p.m. showing
that happened to be a double feature.
The 5:30 p.m. crowd when we attended was older, but the 8 p.m.
crowd, coming in as we left, averaged about 30. Damon plays anything
that he deems a classic or a movie that is hard-to-come-by. I
saw Decoy, from 1946 and Among the Living, from 1941.
The films are available for rent to members. Movie Museum memberships
are $26 for the first year and $21 every subsequent year. Also,
with each renewal come five free eight-day video rentals. Normally
video rentals are $3 per week.
The Movie Museum is a variation from the normal theater experience
and the normal movies and crowds.
Contact the Movie Museum at 735-8771. It is recommended that
you make a reservation, since there are only 18 seats, which
are filled quickly. Don’t forget to bring a blanket, or
pillow, and maybe some snacks.