Honolulu, Hawaii: Aloha Stadium Plans to Bring Drive-In Movies Back

The drive-in movie is making a comeback in Hawai'i, though on a reduced scale. The state plans to start holding outdoor movies at Aloha Stadium in February to supplement revenues for the property and promote swap meet shopping.

The movies also could be a way for the facility to make money during periods when the stadium is idle or closed for repairs, said stadium manager Scott Chan.

"We're looking at other ways to generate revenues using the facility on the outside," he said. "One of the ways we came up with was bring back the drive-in theater.

"We're looking at showing movies here on a monthly basis in our parking lot."

The plan was recently approved by the Aloha Stadium Authority. If the stadium follows through, the events would be the first drive-in movies held in Honolulu since the Kam Drive-In movie theater near Pearlridge Center closed on Sept. 7, 1998.

The stadium is working with the local franchisee of Maryland-based Fun Flicks to run the movies. Movies would be shown on a 40-foot inflatable screen that would accommodate 3,000 people or 500 autos, according to minutes of the Stadium Authority's Nov. 19 meeting.

The stadium plans to allow moviegoers to lounge on artificial turf in front of the screen or to stay in their autos and listen via the radio, Chan said.

Details, including what the stadium may charge, what movies will be shown and on what evenings the movies will be shown, have not been determined.

Officials for Fun Flicks did not return messages for this story. It's unclear from the company's Internet site whether Fun Flicks has agreements allowing it to show first-run movies or older movies that already are available on DVD.

The stadium generates most of its revenues from swap meet, and food and beverage concessions. During the fiscal year ended June 30, the stadium special fund had $8.03 million in revenues and $8.33 million in expenses, according to the Department of Accounting and General Services. Another $1.5 million was transferred to the state's general fund to help balance the budget.

Alternatives such as movies could help the stadium offset business losses from the Pro Bowl's temporary move to Miami. The Pro Bowl is scheduled to return to Aloha Stadium in 2011.

The stadium also is pursuing concert business. However, any potential stadium concert must generate attendance of more than 25,000 people to offset stadium staging and set up costs that range from $35,000 to $40,000, according to the Stadium Authority.

"The market we'd like to capture is obviously the concerts, but we don't control that market," Chan said. "It appears that more of the entertainers are going to the smaller venues."

Sean Hao


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