Hello, Sunshine!

solar panel with sun



The Palace Theater, built in 1925, is a tough fit for modern audiences. Air Conditioning and larger seating with better leg room are necessary for a positive audience experience.    The Board of the Palace Theater has been working hard on a long-range “Theater Comfort” project, the first of which is to Air Condition the theater.  However, before bringing in Air Conditioning we must install Solar Panels so we can afford to run an air conditioner.


“The Palace has a very high monthly electric bill; running air conditioning would make it significantly higher,” said Wendy Peskin Board Chair. “Plus, we want to do our part to make our usage greener and more sustainable.  Going solar is our way to be environmentally responsible. This brings us to our important Call to Action. We have raised 78% of the funds needed for the full, 81 panel solar project. We have until April 1st to fund the remaining 22%,” continued Peskin.


Why the deadline? The Palace Theater will be “grandfathered” in with HELCO for “Net Metering” (a billing mechanism that FULLY credits solar owners for the electricity they add back to the grid.)  This advantageous type of agreement is no longer available for new installations. The deadline for our installation is coming up and we want to have all the panels we need installed by this deadline.  Our plan is to install as many panels as we can afford… up to the full 81 panels needed.   We have until April 1st to fund the purchase of solar panels and until June 1st to have them installed, inspected and operating.  After June 1st we cannot add more panels under our “Net Metering” agreement.  We would have to start a whole new, less favorable program.


“So, please help now! We need to raise $31K between now and April 1,” said Peskin.  “You can help in many ways:  Drop your “spare dollars” in the clear donation box by the cafe. We’ve ALREADY been able to ‘buy’ a panel from the dollars in this box, and we’re on our way to our second panel! Or, you could become a solar donor.  Fill out the form in the lobby, stop by the office Monday – Friday from 10am to 3pm or send us a check to Palace Theater, 38 Haili St, Hilo, HI 96720.  Please put “Solar” on the memo line. A third way to help us towards our goal by April 1st is to buy a “Candle” or a “Sparkler” on our 90th Birthday Cake…. $90 and $190,” concluded Peskin.


“Perhaps some of you might want to hui together and ‘buy’ a panel in order to move us one panel closer to our goal,” said Morgen Bahurinsky, Executive Director of the Palace. Theater. “With only 18 panels yet to fund, we are so very close.  Won’t you help?  Each panel costs $1700.  Do you know 10 people who would join you in donating $170 toward step one of our goal of air conditioning?  Let’s all work together to make this downtown treasure the best it can be.  Then come enjoy our concerts, movies and musicals in the comfort you deserve,” concluded Bahurinsky.


For more information, check the displays in the theater lobby or call the office at 934-7010.

The Friends of the Palace Theater is a 501c3 non-profit entity so donations are deductible. Consult your tax advisor for additional information.