By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
The Golden Harvest Theatres sold for $1.1 million
to a California-based group.

Christian group buys
last isle ethnic theater

The Golden Harvest will
become a broadcast facility

By Rick Daysog

The last of Hawaii's ethnic movie theaters has been sold to make way for a Christian broadcasting center.

Tustin, Calif.-based Trinity Christian Center on Tuesday bought the Golden Harvest Theatre in Chinatown from Golden Harvest Hawaii Ltd. for $1.1 million, state land records show.The buyer is affiliated with Trinity Broadcasting Network, one of the world's largest religious television systems.

Trinity plans to convert the 6,177-square-foot, twin-screen theater into a broadcasting center and a virtual-reality theater for biblical films, said Joe Haas, senior associate with CB Commercial, who represented the seller.

The Golden Harvest Theatre, at Smith Street near Beretania Street, had been closed since December 1995 after operator Golden Reserves Hawaii Ltd.'s lease expired, according to Haas. Completed in 1981, the theater largely ran Chinese-language movies and martial arts films. While the Golden Harvest did well initially, it struggled in its last two years.

The theater's closing marked an end of an era for ethnic movies in Hawaii -- an era that included the Japanese-language Toyo and Nippon theaters, the Filipino-language Zamboanga theater and the Chinese-language Liberty theater. All of those theaters no longer exist.

The seller, Golden Harvest, is connected to the Hong Kong film studio that made Bruce Lee famous.

Founded by Paul and Jan Crouch in 1973, Trinity Broadcasting is the owner of 15 television stations and operates and an extensive radio empire, according to an Aug. 2 Los Angeles Times article.

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