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LAIE, Hawai’i — Hawaiian Journey, the Polynesian Cultural Center’s (PCC) all-new immersive cinematic experience, opened to hundreds of eager community members at its grand opening Friday evening. Replacing the former IMAX theater, Hawaiian Journey brings to life the story of the people of Hawaii’s connection to the land and their ancestors. 


With an exterior depicting a dormant volcano, Hawaiian Journey is a 12-minute experience, projected on one of the largest screens in the state. The journey transports guests into the gorgeous imagery on screen as they experience crashing waves, mystic valleys and powerful eruptions through interactive special effects that engage their senses. 


“This new experience will take guests on a journey unlike anything offered in the Hawaiian Islands,” said Alfred Grace, President and CEO of the PCC. “Hawaiian Journey is a part of our five-year revitalization plan that began in 2011 and includes the Hawaii Village, which also opened this evening, the introduction of Go Native! hands-on activities, the renovation of Gateway restaurant in 2012 and the market place expansion currently underway.”


The grand opening of the newly renovated Hawaii Village featured a welcoming ceremony from all cultures represented at the PCC. The village redesign is reflective of an ahupuaa – a land division used by ancient Hawaiians, usually extending from the uplands to the sea – and includes new activities, architecture, exhibits and an expanded footprint. Two vital elements of Hawaiian life, loi kalo (irrigated terrace used to grow taro) and a loko ia (fish pond), have also been included.


The event concluded with a concert by local favorite Manao Company.