Concerns about smoke forced the evacuation of the Kennedy Theatre on the campus of the University of Hawaii at Manoa Wednesday.
Firefighters arrived at the scene around 2:30 p.m. and found smoke coming from the theatre's basement where many of the props are kept.
After moving out most of those items, fire crews were able to trace the source of the smoke to an elevator used to lift part of the orchestra pit.
Officials said fluid leaked onto another piece of equipment that then began smoking.
Three to four dozen students and staff were evacuated.
The commotion caused some troubles for those facing a deadline.
Fire officials said they do not believe there was ever an actual fire, just smoke.