Opened in 1928, and built in Spanish Mission style, this theater was once the main entertainment venue of the city of Wailuku, on Maui. Besides screening movies, it featured live stage acts, and such stars as Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Mickey Rooney and Donald O’Connor made appearances at the ‘Iao. In 1953, the theater hosted the Hawaiian premiere of “From Here to Eternity.”
Founded in 1974, Maui Academy of Performing Arts (MAPA) is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to bringing educational and performing arts programs to the people of Hawai‘i. MAPA began as an after school drama program and was incorporated as a non-profit in the name of Maui Youth Theatre in 1977 with the goal of providing quality theatre productions for youth, by youth. In 1990, Maui Youth Theatre changed its name to Maui Academy of Performing Arts to reflect the growth and expanded direction of the organization.