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In the Mix: Royal Hawaiian Center closes LEVEL4


FL Morris / fmorris@staradvertiser.com

The scene at LEVEL4 during the club’s grand opening party on July 19, 2008.

This post has been updated. See below.

By Jason Genegabus
jason@staradvertiser.com

Waikiki nightspot LEVEL4 Nightclub and Ultra Lounge held its final parties last weekend and is now out of business, according to multiple sources. Following regularly scheduled parties on Friday and Saturday, the fourth floor space at the Royal Hawaiian Center hosted a final screening of “Princess Kaiulani” tonight before closing down for good.

The news “kind of just hit us” out of the blue, said LEVEL4 public relations director Kenji Matsuzawa, who said he found out “last week” that the club would shut its doors.

“We were doing so well,” he said. “We were riding that roller coaster … (but) business has been booming.”

Over the summer months, the venue would regularly draw upwards of 500 to 600 people on Fridays and more than double that amount on Saturdays. Still, the loss of a resident stage production in the space meant a significant loss of revenue for the center.

“I guess the Royal Hawaiian Center felt they needed to go in another direction,” Matsuzawa admitted. “I want to thank (them) for allowing us to do business. They put up with a lot.”

Matsuzawa also made sure to acknowledge the efforts of LEVEL4′s talented staff, as well as the customers who partied there every weekend.

“When I first came to Hawaii, I thought ‘aloha’ was just another word,” he said. “But since I’ve been at LEVEL4, it’s given me a greater appreciation of what it means to live and work here. I’m very fortunate to have worked with some amazing people.

“I’m saddened (about the closure), but I’m not worried. These people are warriors. They’ll make it.”

Representatives for the RHC did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the closure.

Update (9/20/2010): Royal Hawaiian Center general manager Marleen Akau responded to a Star-Advertiser request for comment earlier today with the following statement:

Effective Monday, September 20, the lease of Royal Hawaiian Showroom, LLC at The Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikiki, has been terminated under a Bankruptcy Court Order dismissing the company’s reorganization case.

Royal Hawaiian Showroom, LLC filed for Chapter 11-bankruptcy protection in October 2009.  It has been operating the Level4 Nightclub & Ultra Lounge on Friday and Saturday nights, and has been showing the movie ‘Princess Kaiulani’ three times daily.

A new tenant has not yet been identified.

According to Matsuzawa, representatives from the RHC had stated the space would be undergoing renovations before a new tenant took over operations; Akau, however, had no comment when asked to respond to the report of plans to remodel.

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