On April 28, 1915, a new theatrical group called The Footlights was born when Will Lewers, Mrs. Walter F. Dillingham, Helen Alexander, Margaret Center and Gerrit Wilder appeared in The Amazons by Pinero.
The performance took place at the Honolulu Opera House, where our main Post Office on Merchant Street now stands. The legacy of those theatre lovers has grown into the third-oldest, continuously operating theatre in the entire United States.
The Footlights reorganized and took on a new name: Honolulu Community Theatre (HCT).
In the original mission statement still honored today, the theatre committed itself to community service through the art of theatre, involving the people of Hawaii as audience members, stage crew and performers.
During World War II, HCT productions entertained thousands of troops at over 300 performances throughout the Pacific (a tradition we continued with the Pacific tour of Ain’t Misbehavin’ during the 1990 season).
Then, in 1952, HCT took up residence in the Fort Ruger Theatre, the Army Post’s then movie house. Major refurbishments over the years, to make that structure a venue for stage productions have included the addition of scene and costume shops, installation of lighting and sound systems, handicapped-accessible restrooms, a first-ever lobby for our patrons and an upstairs addition for office space, spotlights and lighting boards.
Then, in 1990, came a new name for an old friend: Honolulu Community Theatre became Diamond Head Theatre (DHT).
With energy, professionalism, and a dedicated all volunteer corps of cast and crew, DHT is committed to excellence and community involvement more than ever before.
Each season we offer six mainstage theatrical productions, including five major musicals, on a scale that rivals that of Broadway. We provide theatre workshops to train residents of Hawaii in the theatrical arts. Acting, voice and dance classes for children, teens and adults are offered throughout the year. The Diamond Head Theatre Shooting Stars, a performing arts troupe, provides exposure and polish to the rising young stars of tomorrow. Finally, more than 15,000 volunteer hours per season keep DHT at the forefront of local theatre, and provide volunteers with experience in the arts and job skills in the theatrical industry.