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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Mai Kai 50th Anniv. - a look back in pictures!
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Mai Kai 50th Anniv. - a look back in pictures!
tiki_kiliki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 01, 2002
Posts: 1000
From: Hamtown USA
Posted: 2006-12-02 09:45 am   Permalink

MakeDaMug - thanks for the calendar pictures! ChipandAndy have that year and always display each appropriate month. That's Mireille Thorton in the month of July!

Swanky - I'm sure they had a soft opening but I can ask Dave and see if that's correct - it only makes sense though...

Ok, here's today's pictures..

The first is from the Licudine scrapbook. It's an old polaroid photo that I've had to put some work into just to get better resolution from it. The photograph was literally so faded that you could barely see it. The Mai Kai has a few remaining construction photos but not this angle. I had to include this one - it's just the shell of the A-frame structure. As far as a date I can only make out the year, of course, 1956.

The other, from the Mai Kai archives, is a beautiful wahine standing in front of the amazing carved poles that held the Mai Kai sign above. No date for this one but I'm guessing early 60's - you can almost date a photo by the style of a woman's hair. She is wearing a G rated skirt compared to the Molokai girls of today. No doubt, this might have been used for one of the calendars on intended for that purpose.

Enjoy...






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[ This Message was edited by: tiki_kiliki 2006-12-02 09:47 ]


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Ojaitimo
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Joined: Aug 04, 2006
Posts: 1305
Posted: 2006-12-02 2:03 pm   Permalink

Thanks Tiki Kiiki,

Great pictures, looking forward to your future postings.

Ojaitimo

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[ This Message was edited by: Ojaitimo 2006-12-05 14:40 ]


 
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tiki_kiliki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 01, 2002
Posts: 1000
From: Hamtown USA
Posted: 2006-12-03 2:40 pm   Permalink

Today's picture is from the Mai Kai archives. This is the original gift shop circa 1962. We now know it as the Bora Bora Room just across from the main entrance of the Mai Kai. I'll be posting more of these as the merchandise they sold back in the day is right up our alley.

For those of you that have had the chance to venture in Bora Bora this picture will be very familiar to you.

Enjoy..



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IsleConch
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Joined: Jun 04, 2006
Posts: 166
From: Satellite Beach, FL
Posted: 2006-12-04 4:49 pm   Permalink

Hey guys I just got my 2006 Mai Kai 50th annivesary calendar in the mail..It's memorable, get yours today.


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tiki_kiliki
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Joined: Apr 01, 2002
Posts: 1000
From: Hamtown USA
Posted: 2006-12-04 9:08 pm   Permalink

Sorry this is so late. We just returned from the Mai Kai 50th Celebration Dinner that the family had for media and clients.

The latest installment is a picture of the surfboard bar which is now gone. You can see the Leeteg in the background that is now on the wall leading back to the gardens - this one is very large. You can also see the lovely tiki lanterns on the bar - this particular style is now featured in the Hawaii Room.

Enjoy...



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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2006-12-05 11:02 am   Permalink

Where was the surfboard bar located, and when was it removed?

 
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Chip and Andy
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Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2125
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2006-12-05 2:19 pm   Permalink

Someone else will have to fill in the dates and specific names....

The Molokai Bar (current) is decorated to resemble the inside of a cargo ship that is transporting you to a far-away exotic location.

The Molkai Bar before that was decorated as the Pineapple Bar. Many of you have seen this verison in postcards, the bar stools looked like you were sitting on top of a large pineapple.

The Molokai Bar before that was the Surfboard Bar. The bar top was shaped like a wooden surfboard and was sized for the Jolly Green Giant.

All three versions of the Molokai bar were in the same place just inside of the entrace to the building. The Molokai Girls have worn just about the same outfits since the beginning and the drink menu hasn't changed too much since the beginning either.



Not 100% certain on my information, but maybe this will jog the memory of those with better details....


 
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tiki_kiliki
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Joined: Apr 01, 2002
Posts: 1000
From: Hamtown USA
Posted: 2006-12-05 4:10 pm   Permalink

Jab,

I'm so sorry that I haven't had time to answer your question yet but here's some pretty detailed information. Dates still unknown but I'm working on that.

Here's a picture from a newspaper article of the surfboard bar. You'll see another Leeteg and the pineapple chairs which were used in this particular bar. The surfboard bar was located where the Tonga Room is today - the dining area that is raised to the right as you enter to be seated for dinner. The actual date of removal is unknown but I'm trying to verify with the family, I spoke with Pia earlier but she was unsure. (From the Licudine scrapbook)



And here's another pic of the surfboard bar. Pictured are Mariano (4th from the right)and other staff members. Behind them there was an animated scenery complete with Tikis, huts and dancers - at nightfall stars would appear and the entire wall would be lit as if in the moonlight. Next time you're at the Mai Kai take a long look in Tonga and you can see remnants of the surfboard bar.(From the Licudine scrapbook)



And here's another shot of the garden area just in front of the stage - these are diners from the Gulfstream Derby - you can see the patrons in the surfboard bar just behind them - be sure to take a look at the table and see how much has remained the same - you can also spot the cannibal coasters and Derby Daiquiris about! (from the Mai Kai archives):



The Molokai was added later. I've been told in 1962 but that was not from the family. Here's an ad from the opening! (From the Licudine scrapbook)



And a close up of the text!






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[ This Message was edited by: tiki_kiliki 2006-12-05 16:11 ]


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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11004
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2006-12-05 10:14 pm   Permalink

That's great! Love that gong graphic and text!

 
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PremEx
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Joined: Aug 23, 2006
Posts: 279
From: Houston, Texas
Posted: 2006-12-05 11:04 pm   Permalink

I admit it. I love places with real history and tradition behind them.

Please...keep 'em coming. This is great stuff!


 
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 4965
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2006-12-06 06:20 am   Permalink

It's all fuzzy with the dates. Bob and Jack had very different ideas of how the Mai Kai should be expanded. When Jack had a stroke and asked Bob to buy him out, it obviously became Bob's vision that became the Mai Kai of today. The renovations that created the Molokai and moved the gift shop and expanded the whole place took place then and I think it was in the mid-60s. Although it could have been later.

I think both visions were drawn up by the architect George Nakashima. He said Jack's plan was very elaborate and Bob's was more down to earth.

One of the guys I work with here in TN's father worked on that renovation.
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tiki_kiliki
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Joined: Apr 01, 2002
Posts: 1000
From: Hamtown USA
Posted: 2006-12-06 06:39 am   Permalink

There were additions in the mid 60's to include the Molokai. The major expansion actually came about in 1971 and both Bob and Jack worked on that project. Almost an entire issue of Happy Talk is dedicated to the mini expansion in the 60's. The '71 expansion included Tahiti, Samoa and the gardens. By this time the property around them was changing so the vast grounds surrounding the Mai Kai had to give way to the US1 expansion and modern development.

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[ This Message was edited by: tiki_kiliki 2006-12-06 07:18 ]


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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2006-12-06 11:50 am   Permalink

Mahalo for this fascinating post tiki_kiliki! I enjoyed the photos displayed at the Hukilau but was wishing I could have another look at them, and you fulfilled my wishes!

 
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GatorRob
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Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1770
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2006-12-06 12:29 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2006-12-06 06:20, Swanky wrote:
Bob and Jack had very different ideas of how the Mai Kai should be expanded. When Jack had a stroke and asked Bob to buy him out, it obviously became Bob's vision that became the Mai Kai of today. The renovations that created the Molokai and moved the gift shop and expanded the whole place took place then and I think it was in the mid-60s. Although it could have been later.

I think both visions were drawn up by the architect George Nakashima. He said Jack's plan was very elaborate and Bob's was more down to earth.


It's fun to think of what the Mai-Kai might look like today had Jack not had a stroke. Any idea if the original architectural drawings still exist?


 
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tiki_kiliki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 01, 2002
Posts: 1000
From: Hamtown USA
Posted: 2006-12-06 12:58 pm   Permalink

Well GatorRob, yes, the original architectural drawings do exist. Swanky and I were going to show them in 2004 during Hukilau but between Hurricane Jeane and the death that year of George Nakashima (his asssistant brought them to Hukilau but left as soon as there was an announcement of an evacuation), we didn't revisit that again until now.

When I toured the Mai Kai warehouse back in October they literally had over 100 drawings and sets of plans from the very beginning to the addition of Bora Bora, renovations after the surfboard bar was dismantled - everything. I remember it was so overly hot as the warehouse is not air conditioned and I couldn't possibly look at them all. Maybe since the weather is cooler now we could quite possibly take a look at them again.

Jab - glad you're enjoying the images!!
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