The theater, nicknamed the Pride of the Pacific, opened on September 6, 1922, attended by Governor Wallace R. Parrington and members of the Territorial government, as well as many social elites. Costing roughly $500,000 dollars and seating more than 1,700 persons, its decor and architecture drew acclaim and garnered tremendous recognition. The decor and artwork found in the theater's interior enjoyed classical Greek and Roman influences and lively Art Deco elements, both of which embodied the contemporary views of art and culture during that period. A few examples include the Glorification of Diana mural, an expansive mosaic dome, and various sculptures found throughout the interior. Additionally, the building also enjoyed numerous modern amenities (at that time) including air conditioning, indirect lighting, fire and emergency exit systems, and wicker chairs in the balcony. Lastly, the theater construction included several modern engineering features such as a double cantilever system for building the balcony.
The theater served as a center for choice films and theatrical productions, drawing starts from Hollywood and Broadway as well as contemporary Hawaiian musicians and actors; the theater also functioned as a beacon of local culture with its array of local, but highly acclaimed, musical and theater productions. In fact, the theater stood among numerous theaters, bars, and restaurants as part of an entertainment district.
Though the theater has undergone renovations at various times during the last several decades, the theater largely remains intact and appears much the same today as it did when it opened. And, it continues to operate as a center of entertainment, although today it mostly serves (again) live productions and musical shows.