DHT Bids Bon Voyage to Ruger Theatre

It was the end of an era for Diamond Head Theatre as the curtains closed for good Sunday at the historic Ruger Theatre, reported Hawaii News Now on October 2, 2022.

Here’s the full story:  After 70 years’ worth of productions in the building on Makapuu Avenue, the theater company held its final performance in its longtime home with the 1930s musical “Anything Goes.”

To kick off the last show, DHT Artistic Director John Rampage and Executive Director Deena Dray led the audience and cast of “Anything Goes” in a special Champagne toast.

Immediately after the show, audience members were treated to a special solo performance by Broadway star Loretta Ables Sayres, a DHT veteran. Former Miss Hawaii Cathy Foy then took to the stage to lead the audience and cast of “Anything Goes” in singing “Hawaii Aloha” together.

With the lights back up on stage, Diamond Head Theatre has a busy year ahead

Some people even signed the building’s walls outside to share their memories.

DHT will be moving into a brand new, state-of-the art facility right next door, which will include everything from new seating, larger wings, and more.

DHT’s journey started in 1915, with a theatrical group called The Footlights. In 1934, The Footlights’ growing popularity led to the formation of Honolulu Community Theatre. In 1952, it found its permanent home at the Ruger Theater — which was built by the Army in the 1930s as a military movie house.

Honolulu Community Theatre eventually became Diamond Head Theatre in 1990.

DHT’s new home will open in January 2023 with the production of “Cinderella.”

Demolition is expected to happen in the coming weeks.

Hear more about the closing of Ruger Theatre on Hawaii Public Radio.