Ala Moana Center transforms parking lot into a drive-in theater


HONOLULU (KHON) – Oct. 29 was opening night for Aloha Drive-In Movies. 

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The parking lot at Ala Moana Center, between Macy’s and Neiman Marcus, was transformed into a drive-through movie theater space. 

“We thought: this is a pandemic. Nothing is open. We can’t go anywhere. I know I was starting to go stir crazy,” said Shane Curtis. 

Curtis and business partner, Kevin Sawicki, created Aloha Drive-In Movies. 

“This is an ultimate opportunity for people to leave home with their family, in their vehicle. You don’t have to interact with anyone. Check-in for the movie is via mobile, so it’s contactless. What better way to get out of the house, have a little reprieve from the depressing news, and watch a little cinema? Something to put a smile on your face. That’s the goal,” Curtis explained.  

For opening night, two viewings were sold out: “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” and “Grease: A Sing-Along.” 

“It’s family night! We miss going to the movies, so I’m glad the state is finding ways we can spend family time at the theater even though it’s outdoors. It’s a cool idea,” said movie patron Ala Kwan. 

The parking lot at the state’s largest outdoor mall will be home to Aloha Drive-In Movies for one month. A series of classic, international and local films will be shown. 

There is a focus on local talent as well. 

Curtis and Sawicki partnered with the Hawaii International Film Festival.

“This year for HIFF’s 40th anniversary, we’re showing more films in our “Made in Hawaii” program than we ever had before. We wanted to create a benchmark to encourage more creativity in Hawaii,” said Hawaii International Film Festival Executive Director Beckie Stocchetti. 

Two of the films being shown at Aloha Drive-In are horror-thriller “Story Game,” which fuses 3 well-known Japanese horror tales with Pan-Pacific flavor, and “Aloha Surf Hotel,” a comedy starring local personality Augie T in the leading role.

Both films will be shown Nov. 5.

To purchase tickets and see the full selection of movies, go to the Aloha Drive-in Movies website. 

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