Archive for October, 2011

Do you remember those Saturday kiddie clubs?

October 22nd, 2011

They were called the Popeye Club and the Mickey Mouse Club — and other variations, like Porky Pig Club — and usually the format was the same.
You’d head to your neighborhood theater every Saturday morning, where you’d plop down a dime — or two — to be admitted to a tradition that catered to youngsters keen on cowboy flocks and Three Stooges comedies, with a pre-feature cartoon or two.
Remember ‘em?
This was an era when many communities had their own movie theaters: the Palama Theatre, the Kaimuki Theatre, the Liliha Theatre, the Kailua Theatre, the Kaneohe Theatre, the Aala Theatre, the Pawaa Theatre (which became the Cinerama), the Kewalo Theatre, the Kapahulu Theatre. And on and on...
Theaters were situated where folks lived — a single-standing monument with varying degrees of classic architecture.
Well before the advent of suburban multiplexes with stadium seats, movie houses were community fixtures where multi-use meant a Saturday morning geared to the young folks. The one I attended was Liliha; there were talent contests preceding the features, and community merchants donated prizes — a carnation lei or orchid corsage from a florist, some kind of a toy from a merchant, a cake from a bakery.
Then the films were shown —some were serials with cliff-hanger endings, begging for a return visit the next Saturday to continue the story.
The snacks were no different than today — Milk Duds, Jujubes, malted balls, Hershey bars, chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream morsels. But there were precious and pricy bags of dried scallop and abalone slices, too; the cost, I think, was 20 cents, a fortune for the time, so you’d suck out the seafood flavors for eternity before the last swallow.
No pizza, no nachos, no saimin — but plenty of popcorn popped fresh and hot, too. Nope, I don't remember tossing in kakemochi to mix with the popcorn; this was a habit yet to evolve.
The kiddie clubs were part of a simpler time, when kids didn’t have to dash off to soccer or swimming matches or hula and ballet classes.
Remarkably, the memories remain — along with some theaters that house businesses today, or sit idle and wasted. Think Cinerama, Palama, Kewalo, for instance.
So, what reminiscences do you have of those kiddie clubs and your neighborhood theater?

Steve Miller-Dave Mason twinbill on three islands

October 20th, 2011

Are you ready to rock 'n' roll?
Two classic rock acts — the Steve Miller Band and Dave Mason — will give three Hawaii concerts over as many days in December.
The schedule:
• Honolulu — 8 p.m. Dec. 9, Blaisdell Arena.
• Big Island — 8 p.m. Dec. 10, Hilton Waikoloa Village’s Grand Ballroom.
• Maui — 7 p.m. Dec. 11, Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s A&B Amphitheater and Yokouchi Pavilion.
Doors open an hour before showtime.
Miller’s rock-blues sound has been a defining and powerful element of the classic rock movement, still popular today several decades after its heyday. The Miller life has included such hit staples as “Fly Like an Eagle,” “Take the Money and Run,” “Rock ‘n Me,” “Jet Airliner,” “Swingtown” and “Jungle Love.”
Mason, a founding member of the rock group Traffic, has earned laurels and fas as one of the top composers and guitarists in the world. His signature hits as a soloist include “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “We Disagree,” and “Only You and I Know.”
The show’s presenter is Ron Gibson, of Ron Gibson Entertainment, on behalf of the Diamond Head International Music Festival, which he revived inside Diamond Head Crater several years ago before the economic slowdown. This event keeps the Diamond Head spirit afloat, with a possible reinstatement in 2012.
Tickets details:
• Honolulu — $75, $65, $55; on sale at the Blaisdell box office, online at,
charge by phone at 800-745-3000, and Ticketmaster outlets including Walmart and Windward Mall Sports Gear.
• Big Island — $85, $75, $65 and $59, with a limited number of VIP seats and kamaaina general admission seats available; on sale online at, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 and Ticketmaster outlets at the Hilo and Kona Walmart; kamaaina general admission seats available while supplies last at Big Island Surf Waimea, CD Wizard in Hilo, Persimmon at Queen’s Market Place and Kona Wine in the Kona Commons Shopping Center.
• Maui ¬— $85, $65, $55; on sale at the MACC box office, charge by phone at 808-242-SHOW and online at; limited $125 VIP seats also available while supplies last.

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An Aina Haina quiz for weekend relaunch gala

October 19th, 2011

“We ♥ Aina Haina” is the theme of the grand reopening of the Aina Haina Shopping Center this Saturday (Oct. 22).
Ceremonies start at 10 a.m. and continue throughout the day, with music, crafts, food samplings, floral arrangement and more.
If you grew up in Honolulu, you may have fond remembrances of Aina Haina — ZIP code 96821 — that may have been forgotten because of time.
So let’s recall some of Aina Haina’s glory with this pop quiz:

Remember? ...

1 — Name the restaurant that featured wagon wheels and bullhorns as part of the décor — as well as tummy-warming comfort food, steaks and seafood. If you went to Aina Haina to eat, this would have been the place.
2 — He was Hawaii’s biggest and best-known Hawaiian entertainer, though back in the 1980s, he was mostly known for his wisecracks, angelic voice and ukulele-strumming that shaped his eventual fame.
3 — This animatron figure provided birthday cheer for thousands of keiki — in a cheesy stage show. (A costumed version also walked through an arcade of token-swallowing games between shows, shaking hands with kids).
4 — What fast food icon opened its first stand-alone restaurant in Aina Haina six decades ago ... and still remains there in a rebooted new home?
5 — What was the original Japanese restaurant near Foodland Farms, in the space now occupied by Genki Sushi?
6 — In days of old, where could you head for to get plants, fertilizer and garden soil, and even pick up your Christmas tree, instead of driving to Lowe’s or Home Depot?
7 — It wasn’t Kress or Woolworth, so what five-and-dime emporium once did business in Aina Haina, one of the last of its breed?


1 — The Ranch House, aka M’s Ranch House.
2 — Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, who performed with the Makaha Sons of Ni’ihau, at The Ranch House.
3 — Chuck E. Cheese.
4 — McDonald’s.
5 — Komokata.
6 — Aina Haina Garden Shop.
7 — Cornet.

So: Do you have some Aina Haina memories to share, about people, merchants and stuff you still adore?

Highlights of Aina Haina celebration:

• 10 a.m. — Blessing by Kahu Kelekona Bishaw and Welcome by American Commercial
• 10:30 a.m. — Lion dance
• 10:30 a.m. and throughout the day — Food sampling from Foodland Farms, Encore! Espresso, Duck Yun Chinese Restaurant, Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha
• 10:30 a.m. and beyond — Appearances by Tony the Tiger, Cheesaurus Rex and Lani Moo at Foodland Farms
• 11 a.m. — John Cruz
• 1 p.m. — Ronald McDonald at McDonald’s
• 1:30 p.m. — Floral arrangement by Foodland Farms’ Mike Nino at the Food Court
• 2 p.m. — Ledward Kaapana
• 2 to 5 p.m. — Samplings at McDonald’s
• Ongoing throughout the day — craft booths, entertainment by Waldorf School, , Holy Nativity and Aina Haina Elementary School, prize wheel spins at First Hawaiian Bank, student art show
• 4:30 p.m. — Hula by Na Pualei O Likolehua
• 5 p.m. — Makana

Parking will be available at neighboring lots at Aina Haina Elementary School and Holy Nativity School.

‘Five-0’ struggles vs. ‘Castle,’ but wins in demos

October 18th, 2011

For the fifth straight week, “Hawaii Five-0” (CBS) had fewer viewers than its toughest competitor, “Castle” (ABC) — 10.87 million vs. 11.5 million on Monday night (Oct. 17), according to preliminary Nielsen overnight ratings figures.
The good news: “Five-0” bested “Castle” in the coveted 18-49 demographics —3.1/8 vs. 2.6/7.
It’s still a struggle for the Hawaii-based show, intent on chronicling background familial stories in its primetime battle. Monday’s episode, “Ma’ema’e,” reintroduced Chin Ho Kelly’s ex-girlfriend, in what looms as a continuing romantic element — she goes out to Kono Kalakaua’s to try to comfort and soothe the disgraced Five-0 rookie (who had to turn in her badge and gun) and now appears to be serving an undercover role to help McGarrett & Co.
Even Chin Ho repeatedly instructs his cousin Kono to “talk to me,” to help resolve the negative impacts; after all, he’s been there, done that, reclaiming his integrity.
The story revolving the murder of the University of Hawaii Wahine volleyball coach unfolds in quick, exciting tempo, showing players, spectators and locker room peeks — all before the opening title frame.
Which means if latecomers tuned in to see the volleyball presence, they missed it.
For all his grimacing and frowning and quick-action pose, Alex O’Loughlin as McGarrett finally is doing what the head of “Five-0” should be doing: taking charge, asserting himself, playing his part as the pillar of the police force. His no-one-messes-with-my-team declaration vs. the internal affairs guy (Tom Sizemore) echoes the leadership qualities of the original Jack Lord McGarrett character. Stern; in control; stone-solid.
More of this, less of the barrage of new and flashback characters, could help “Five-0” regain its season one ratings that made the show last year’s No. 1 drama.
So what do you feel?

Critiquing McGarrett & Co., the pros and cons

October 17th, 2011

Will Monday’s (Oct. 17) “Hawaii Five-0” episode finally turn the tide for the set-in-Hawaii, filmed-in-Hawaii CBS show?
Let’s hope so.
This one takes a real-life person — the popular women's volleyball coach — as inspiration a fictitious murder plot. McGarret & Co. investigate, of course, but auwe, there’s more tension surrounding Kono and Chin Ho ... and whoa, they’re pursuing Kono and even shooting at her.
Maybe this is the “kill” “Five-0” needs to spike up its ratings card. We find out Tuesday.
Till then, I should comment about those who’ve visited this blog and contend that I am a hater, a non-supporter who keeps needling the resident show.
Not so. I support all productions, the large and the small, the TV and the movie projects here. I’ve covered and applauded many shows and movies produced here during my tenure as entertainment editor of The Honolulu Advertiser. That doesn’t mean that negatives are intended to slam the show. Sometimes, critiques can bring about change, even upgrades, to a show.
As a retiree, I continue to observe and comment, in blogs and in columns.
I’ve had responders-critics who think I’m too harsh, but also supporters who agree, that the “Five-0” show — even after one season — has some troubling issues. “Five-0” was the darling of the 2010-11 freshman season, and was then regarded as the No. 1 new show of that season.
This sophomore year hasn’t demonstrated much glory, with a burgeoning roster of new characters and story arcs that detract from the key players in their pursuit of righting wrong.
The Oct. 24 plot involves the murder of a restaurateur; for Oct. 31, there’s a Halloween presence with the murder of a young couple filming a documentary about a Hawaiian burial, with even a homeless person tossed into the storytelling, for a dose of reality. Oh, yeah, and a creepy Robert Englund guest-starring!
Hope these shows deliver more treats than tricks.

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