How The Iao Theater Got It's Name

In the April 21, 1928 issue of Maui News, Maui Amusement Company announced a contest to name their new Wailuku theater. A prize of $25 was offered to the person(s) submitting the name judged best by the owners H. B. Weller and M. G. Paschoal and theater manager William Ledward. In case of duplicate entries, the prize was to be divided among the persons submitting the winning name. The contest was to run through May 31, 1928.

The selected name of "Iao Theater" was announced in the July 11 issue of the paper. The $25 prize was divided between Mrs. Foster Robinson of Waiakoa and Wentworth Kinney of Hamakuapoko. Brevity and appropriateness (being located at the mouth of Iao Valley) were cited as the main reasons for the choice. High on the judge's list were "The New Maui Theater" and "The New Hippodrome".

Over 150 entries were received, the most popular choices are tabulated below:

Entries Name
16  Paradise Theater
12  Aloha Theater
  8  Palace Theater
  7  Roselani Theater
  5  The Roselani
  4  The Isle Theater
  4  The Valley Isle

At least two Hawaiian names were entered, "Hale Nani" and "Kawehi O Na Lani". Some other entries were: "Haleakala Theater", "The Gaiety", "Happy Isle Orpheum", "The Majestic Theater", "The Maui Grande" and "The Valley View".


  1. The Maui News, April 21, 1928, pg. 1, col. 5
  2. The Maui News, July 11, 1928, pg. 1, col. 3

Early History of Iao Theater

Wailuku Theater Scene Before Iao Theater

Back to "Iao Theater, 1940"

Page revised 2/14/18 by Maui MeshWorks