Hawaii’s only drive-in movie theater has officially closed. After operating for seven years, the permanent outdoor movie screen has been taken down.
Maui’s original drive-in theatre, which closed in 1967, was recreated at UH Maui College with the help of filmmaker Ken Martinez Burgmaier. But with new construction at the college now complete, it was time for the state’s largest screen to come down.
“We created some wonderful Saturday nights memories for our keiki at the Maui Drive-in Movie Theater that will last a life time,” Burgmaier said. “We brought it back to life and over 300 cars would attend each drive-in with live music, fundraisers for schools, non-profits and fun entertainment.”
Burgmaier first began the drive-in theater idea on the grounds of the Hui Noeau Visual Arts Center in Makawao. But those events quickly outgrew the 60-car limit. So in 2005, he spearheaded a plan to build a large wooden panel between two 45-foot telephone poles at a soccer field on the west side of Maui Community College.
With no plans for a new drive-in, Burgmaier said, “[This is] the end of another era of film in Maui.”