Old Varsity Theater site is new Laugh Factory spot
The Varsity Theater will be home to performances of a different kind starting in October.
Stand-up comedy promoter Laugh Factory Hawaii has signed a three-year lease for the space and expects to start renovations soon.
"After five years of research, this location is our best bet for what we want to do," said operations manager Jon Schneider. "We'll be able to accommodate the tourist groups, and we'll be able to sell tickets directly to the military."
Without a place to call its own, Laugh Factory hosted events in Waikiki hotels and the Blaisdell Concert Hall. Scheduling conflicts and rental fees made booking acts difficult. "We've been making the city pretty rich over the years," Schneider said. "When we have our own establishment ... we won't have to pay the union production costs or rental fees, and all the concession sales will be ours."
Schneider expects to be open seven days a week, with local and national talent sharing the stage. The venue will double as a sports bar during the day, with late-night club events a possibility as well.
Representatives for Kamehameha Schools, which owns the land beneath the theater, and property management company Colliers Monroe Friedlander did not respond to requests for comment.