Know Before You Show: The Hilo Palace Theatre


With our Know Before You Show series, we highlight some our of favorite Big Island entertainment venues and cover things concertgoers need to know about them, as well as some advice on what to know before, during, and after the show. This is, Know Before You Show: The Hilo Palace Theatre edition.

Built in 1925, the Palace Theater is one of the more prominent public buildings constructed in Hilo in the early 20th century. The Palace was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 11, 1993, and features a restored lobby with a cafe serving refreshments during movie showings, concerts and theatrical performances. The Palace is a favorite venue for performers and bands, with concerts regularly scheduled.

The Hilo Palace Theatre is located at 38 Haili Street, Hilo, HI 96720. Phone: 808-934-7010. Email: Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 10-3 p.m.

There is no parking lot, but street-side parking is available in the bayfront area

Food & Beverage
The theatre has an in-house café for snacks to enjoy during the show. We offer a diverse selection of candy, soft drinks, popcorn, Big Island Komboocha, Hawaiian Licks ice cream, hot dogs, as well as homemade chili and vegan curry. For special events, they offer a no-host bar with local beer and wine for purchase.

Still Hungry?
For a pre or post-show meal, The Palace is located in the heart of the historic bayfront area in walking distance of many Hilo’s top restaurants including Café Pesto for Italian entrees and the best pizza in town, Kanpai for ramen, sushi, and cocktails, Conscious Culture Café for locally sourced, fresh, healthy meal options, Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill offering classic American dishes with an island flair, and the Hilo Tavern for bar and grill options.

Need a ticket?
Tickets for film and event programing can be purchased online at, in person at the Box Office, or over the phone with a credit/debit card, Monday-Friday 10-3 p.m. Call: 808-934-7010.

Ledward (“Led”) Kaapana at the Palace Theatre.  (photo: Steve Roby)

What Are Concertgoers Saying?
“What a great place to catch a movie or enjoy a live show. The architecture is fabulous and I’m always taking pictures of it when I visit. So great that we have this historic place to enjoy!!”

“Love the Hilo Palace! Such a great place for live theater, music, and films.”

“…comfortable seating, accommodates large crowd, nice views, acoustics, sense of history and place”

“By far one of the best attractions and community developments in downtown Hilo. The Palace enriches Hilo with the cultural arts, bringing our town together through music, theatre, film, and much more. I have seen everything from brilliant musical productions, internationally known musicians, locally blessed artists, thought and heart-provoking documentaries, and just good ol’ entertaining films. It’s all here at this aesthetically pleasing venue. The Palace: a gemstone right in the heart of Hilo.”

Special Events
In addition to regular movie programming, every Friday through Tuesday, the theatre is proud to host a diverse program throughout the year including live concerts, musical theatre, film festivals, educational workshops, locally produced co-productions, lectures, and so much more. You can stay up to date with all of their program announcements by following the Palace on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @hilopalace, and by subscribing to their e-newsletter. Sign up at

Celebrating their 95th anniversary
In 2020, the theatre is currently preparing for the theater’s 95th birthday which will take place in the fall. Currently, the theatre is upgrading their sprinkler system to bring the building up to modern fire codes, as well as preparing for a façade renovation to bring the neon sign back to its former glory. Plans for the installation of air-conditioning are being made with hopes of starting phase one of construction this year.

You can support the Palace by making a tax-deductible donation today either in person at the Palace box office, by mail, or online at

Hilo Palace photos and info supplied by Executive Director Phillips Payson.


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