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Tiki Central Forums Collecting Tiki Don the Beachcomber - The Locations (Updated 11-22-10)
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Don the Beachcomber - The Locations (Updated 11-22-10)
Mongoloid
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Joined: Apr 25, 2008
Posts: 590
From: Long Beach
Posted: 2010-11-04 1:55 pm   Permalink

At the end of his note Don added - Mai Pina Oe Ia'u which translastes to Don't forget me.
This is a good testimonial to his request.


 
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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11265
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-11-04 2:50 pm   Permalink



This matchbook reminded me that I had THIS architectural rendering...



...in my archive, from the the vaults of Oceanic Arts, who I believe carved THIS sign for it:



 
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Dustycajun
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Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4427
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-11-04 5:07 pm   Permalink

Mongoloid,

Thanks for the translation, that's pretty cool as it relates to this thread.

Bigbro,

Great stuff from your archives, this thread is really heating up with contributions from you, Sabu, Taboo Dan, and Phillip Roberts.

To summarize, we are up to 29 Don the Beachcomber locations, with opening dates and photos, matchbooks, postcards etc. found for 23 of them. Still need some dates, paper or photos for the following locations:

Santa Clara, California
Malibu, California
Denver, Colorado - Hilton Hotel
Houston, Texas
Seattle, Washington
W. Lafayette, Indiana


Here's a photo of Red Skelton at the Hollywood DTB from ebay.



DC


 
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Dustycajun
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Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4427
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-11-07 11:09 am   Permalink

Here's Something interesting, another Don the Beachcomber location that didn't exist!

This movie promo photo was on ebay featuring Anita Ekberg posing in front of a Don the Beachcomber restaurant set from the Martin & Lewis movie Hollywood or Bust.



Anybody notice the restaurant set in the movie?

DC


 
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bongofury
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Oct 15, 2002
Posts: 1550
From: Ventura County
Posted: 2010-11-07 5:48 pm   Permalink

This was in a scrapbook from a trip to Hawaii Between October 7 & November 23 1952



 
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
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Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2793
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2010-11-07 6:43 pm   Permalink

Thanks bongofury!

That pins the date down on that fernwood tiki to 1952 - a very early date!

DC - love that photo too. Would be interesting to compare that movie-set Don's (assuming it's on a back lot somewhere?) to the real one in Hollywood.


 
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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11265
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-11-07 8:23 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-11-07 11:09, Dustycajun wrote:
Here's something interesting, another Don the Beachcomber location that didn't exist!

This movie promo photo was on ebay featuring Anita Ekberg posing in front of a Don the Beachcomber restaurant set from the Martin & Lewis movie Hollywood or Bust.



Anybody notice the restaurant set in the movie?

DC



Well, if this was a set, it is damn close to the original Hollywood Beachcomber, as you can see in the exterior from that great souvenir menu that can be viewed in the BOT page 72/73:



It's pretty much the same angle and looks the same including the sign. I think this is how the Hollywood Beachcomber looked in the mid-50s, as opposed to those early Beachcomber B&W photos you posted earlier in this thread. They added an awning during that time: Here it is in the 70s, the double doors are visible, but the bamboo has grown a little



This is not to say that your photo is not a set, the studios often built sets matching the original locations. But looking at the floor, it actually looks like a photo backdrop of the real building.

The reference to the Martin & Lewis film is odd:
I checked out "Hollywood or Bust" on U-Tube: They don't get to L.A. until late in the film, and never stop at the Beachcomber, nor does Miss Ekberg ever, or wear that costume. They DO however get real close: Just up the street on Highland Ave, to the (real) Hollywood Bowl (I used to live right in between), and around the corner, to Grauman's Chinese.

So perhaps there was a scene at Don's that got cut out of the final film? Or the still is from another film? But the "native" costume she is wearing in combination with the Don's location points to the fact that it was for a film ABOUT Hollywood. Hmmm.....

In any case, my vote goes towards this being a photo (backdrop) of the real Hollywood Beachcomber. The film, or if there ever was one, remains a mystery.


 
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Dustycajun
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Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4427
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-11-08 07:56 am   Permalink

Bigbro,

I think you are right, that photo sure looks like the real Don the Beachcomber building when compared to the picture from the menu. Thanks for posting that, we now have a couple of nice exterior shots of the second Hollywood location.

The information I listed was directly from the ebay listing, and the seller did not seem to sure about which movie the photo was from.

Here is a photo I found on the internet of the Surfers outside the first Don the Beachcomber location inside the International Market Place in Waikiki.




DC


 
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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11265
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-11-08 2:27 pm   Permalink

D.C., I had two thoughts regarding the band photo above:

That group is the other 70s band from Hawaii called The Surfers, not the guys from my Sound of Tiki compilation which posed at The Luau for two of their covers. Just sayin'. And I am wondering why some D.B. locations did not use the Bamboo logo font for their signs. They all did the driftwood board sign in one way or another, but why do the fonts vary? Anyway:

I am still fascinated with the Anita Ekberg photo. The use of the Hollywood Beachcomber as a backdrop is so specific. If this would just be some studio P.R. glamour shot to feature her in a skimpy island girl outfit, they could have used any beach or jungle backdrop. By the 50s, Don's was known as a Hollwood industry hang out. So it does seem to point to some specific story a la "blond bombshell becomes South Seas dancer at Hollywood South Seas supper club", or something like that...probably a comedy. So the Martin & Lewis idea made sense theoretically.

She also acted in the earlier Martin & Lewis vehicle "Artists & Models", but that takes place in New York. She did two or three Exotica themed movies, but again nothing "Hollywood Polynesia"-related. Then there's one that plays in Southern California I'd like to see, cause of the promising-sounding plot:

Screaming Mimi (1958)
In the opening scene set in Southern California, while Virginia Wilson (Anita Ekberg) is taking an outside beach shower, an escaped madman from the sanitarium shows up. He stabs her dog.
After the attack, Virginia is committed to a sanitarium. The psychiatrist falls in love with her. He fakes her death, and they go on the lam. Virginia ends up dancing at the El Madhouse night club run by Gypsy Rose Lee:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xydfNG2E9h4

Well, she IS wearing a skimpy outfit, but it doesn't fit the Beachcomber bill, unfortunately... I admit, this might be veering off the subject too much, but we Tiki archeologists need a break sometimes too! And some Red Norvo jazz helps.

And now back to the subject of this so well constructed Don The Beachcomber LOCATIONS thread, please.


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Dustycajun
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Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4427
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-11-08 4:03 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-11-08 14:27, bigbrotiki wrote:That group is the other 70s band from Hawaii called The Surfers, not the guys from my Sound of Tiki compilation which posed at The Luau for two of their covers.



Bigbro,

You sure that's not the same band? The website I found the picture on indicated that is was the same Surfers band.

Here is the story:

The Surfers... TOP ROW LEFT TO R: ALAN NALUAI--guitar, JOE STEVENS--drums, CLAYTON NALUAI--bass upright-

BOTTOM ROW LEFT to R: BUDDY NALUAI--organ, RAY PADER--bass guitar, PAT SYLVA--vibes & brass Alan, Clay, Pat & Bernie. aka: The Surfers ! We'll remember that in 1957, brothers Alan & Clayton Naluai were attending Glendale Junior College in Glendale, California. There they befriended two other Hawaiians: percussionist Bernie Ching, and Pat Sylva, a multi-instrumentalist who could hold his own on the piano, vibes, ukulele, or trombone. As all four of them sang as well, the quartet began performing in backyard luau in Southern California, but over the next couple of decades, they made numerous recordings and played top engagements both home in Hawaii and on the mainland! Their trademark 4-part harmony remains unique and memorable! They played at the Latitude 20 in Los Angeles or Hollywood in early 60's--70's. They formed the group THE SURFERS while at college in Glendale, California. There was only 4 of them, Clayton, Alan, Pat and Bernie Ching, when they were in California. When they returned to Hawaii, this was the group. This sign was on the Kalakaua street side of Int'l Market Place, ''DON THE BEACHCOMBER'' and they all played there.Then Kimo McVey took over the place, and changed the name to DUKE'S, and Don Ho opened there. THE SURFERS went into another venue within Int'l Mkt Plc, just can't think of the name of it then. Great picture-

The Tahiti album compared to the pictures.







This link also contains a history of the Surfers and idicates they played at Don the Beachcombers in Hawaii.

http://lpintop.tripod.com/oldiesconnection/id19.html

Now, back to the locations.

DC

[ This Message was edited by: dustycajun 2010-11-08 16:59 ]


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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11265
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-11-08 5:33 pm   Permalink

Guilty as charged, I did not look close enough! Thanks for that correction! Good example of how a pre-set mind can cloud one's judgement: I knew there was a Hawaiian Surfers combo out there that gets mistaken for them sometimes, and some of these guys looked so...so 70s, and darker, and bearded!
Thanks pal!

P.S.: What I really meant to say was THOSE guys are not The Surfers I know...


[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2010-11-08 19:35 ]


 
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Dustycajun
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Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4427
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-11-09 2:45 pm   Permalink

Found this copy of a Don the Beachcomber menu from the Sahara on the web that confirms the opening dates for the DTBs through 1971.










DC


 
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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11265
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-11-09 6:07 pm   Permalink

A good record. Interesting that the Getty Corporation leaves out the Waikiki one, because it was not part of the chain. And ironic that BOTH, Don and Vic, imported their concepts to Hawaii from the mainland, and then BOTH those Waikiki franchises separated from their chains - except Vic keeping the chain, and Don ending up with one place only...but whatta place!

Thought this belongs on this page, another Hollywood Beachcomber likeness (from Tiki Hula's site):

I have no idea what it's good for, a piggy bank maybe? Still, one holy grail for the Beachcomber collector!


 
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Phillip Roberts
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Joined: Sep 09, 2003
Posts: 1611
From: OAHU/Seattle
Posted: 2010-11-09 8:35 pm   Permalink



1948 Passport invitation to the Sunday, "Feast of the Islands Luau." Original Kalakaua Avenue location.
_________________
Waikiki Tiki; Art, History, and Photographs.
Available now from
Bess Press Hawaii.

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arriano
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Joined: Jun 13, 2006
Posts: 1302
From: Dog Patch - San Diego
Posted: 2010-11-10 08:59 am   Permalink

Now that we have an opening year for most of the locations, can we add a closing year for each? Might be interesting to see when the height of the chain was.




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[ This Message was edited by: arriano 2010-11-10 09:00 ]


 
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