Theater operators
will look for buyer

Consolidated informs its employees
it wants to leave the market

After 86 years here, Consolidated Amusement is looking to exit the Hawaii market.

The company told its employees Thursday that it will begin looking for a buyer for its theaters, said Eileen Mortenson, who handles public relations for the company.

Consolidated, which has 750 employees in Hawaii, made the preliminary announcement internally first rather than have employees find out from other sources, Mortenson said.

"They told the employees last Thursday so they would not hear it somewhere else," she said.

Mortenson stressed the company had no immediate plans to sell the theaters.

"We may not find a buyer. It may not happen or it may happen in five years, but there is no imminent sale," she said.

Even if a buyer were to be found immediately for the company, any transaction would take a minimum of six to 18 months to complete, Mortenson said.

Consolidated, a unit of Los Angeles-based Pacific Theatres, operates 12 theater complexes in Hawaii totaling 109 movie screens. It has nine locations on Oahu, two on Maui and one on the Big Island.

Consolidated had been operating in Hawaii since 1917, but the company was purchased by Pacific in 1959.

With the advent of multiplex theaters, such as its most recent venture, the Ward 16 complex, which opened in May 2001, the era of single theaters began drawing to a close.

Consolidated closed its Waikiki locations, including the IMAX theater last year, because of declining business.

It has been looking for new retail tenants for the buildings since then but said it will now demolish Waikiki Theatre No. 3, its original Waikiki theater, early next year to make way for a retail-restaurant complex.

Consolidated's two competitors in Hawaii are Signature Theatres and Wallace Theatre.

Signature has 40 screens on Oahu, and Wallace has 17 screens on the island.


E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2003 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --