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by Samantha Black, staff writer

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 seats.

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.



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