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Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Kona Kai, Philadelphia, PA (restaurant)
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Kona Kai, Philadelphia, PA (restaurant)
bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11249
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-02-07 2:13 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-02-07 13:04, Or Got Rum? wrote:




Wow, they really got into Tiki Temple construction materials in this menu!
The one I quote in the BOT on pages 154/157 was much more "Tiki-centric".


 
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TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2010-02-07 3:50 pm   Permalink

Here is an old Ad from Philadelphia, Pa. of the Marriott Hotel and Restaurant from 1972:



Nothing too great but it's got a cool exterior picture of the Kona Kai at the top left. I saved the image from Ebay and sorry, can't get any clearer than this. The night time shots of this place simply have to be one of the best!

TabooDan


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4401
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-02-12 12:19 pm   Permalink

I just got a Marriott Hotel coffee shop menu with that nice rendering of the hotel grounds and the Kona Kai entrance that was also featured on a postcard.


Here is a blow-up of the entrance area and gardens/pools. You can see some cool water features.



DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4401
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-03-12 5:04 pm   Permalink

This really cool photo of the opening day at the Kona Kai was on ebay recently.

Here is the story that went with the listing:

One 8 x 10 interior photo of the famous Kona Kai that was once at the Marriott hotel in Philidelphia, Pa.
This photo was originally taken in 3-d by Armet and Davis' personal photographer, Jack Laxer on opening day to document the decor.
A very rare long exposure taken in this dark environment with all of the lamps glowing. Most postcards and documentation of old tiki restaurants were photographed with flashes or with the lights on.
This is a rare glimpse into the true dark look of a tiki/Polynesian restaurant.




DC


 
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Hummingbirddoc
Member

Joined: Mar 13, 2010
Posts: 2
Posted: 2010-03-13 3:58 pm   Permalink

I was so excited to find a link to the Kona Kai Restaurant in Philadelphia PA. On this date, at this time 45 years ago my husband and I celebrated our marriage with dinner there. He passed away last year so it was very comforting to find those marvelous pictures of a place that represents such positive memories for me. Thank you to whomever did all the work!

 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4401
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2010-04-05 10:57 pm   Permalink

Here is another great photo from the ebay seller who has the originals from the opening day shoot at the Kona kai.



Really great shot of the Tikis and the grand entrance A frame.


DC


 
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2793
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2011-03-05 11:46 pm   Permalink

An interior photo of the Philadelphia Kona Kai from 1974:






_________________


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11249
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-03-06 12:30 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-03-12 17:04, Dustycajun wrote:
Here is the story that went with the listing:
A very rare long exposure taken in this dark environment with all of the lamps glowing. Most postcards and documentation of old tiki restaurants were photographed with flashes or with the lights on.
This is a rare glimpse into the true dark look of a tiki/Polynesian restaurant.



Or not...as a photographer I of course appreciate moody as opposed to flash-photography interiors shots of Tiki temples.
As a photo archeologist though, I like to lighten them up so I can see the details:



Which in this case also reveal that the hanging lamps are throwing shadows against the rattan, making it unlikely that the shot was entirely lit by only the lamps themselves.
Signed, Mr. know-it-all


 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5062
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2011-03-07 08:34 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-03-06 00:30, bigbrotiki wrote:
Quote:

On 2010-03-12 17:04, Dustycajun wrote:
Here is the story that went with the listing:
A very rare long exposure taken in this dark environment with all of the lamps glowing. Most postcards and documentation of old tiki restaurants were photographed with flashes or with the lights on.
This is a rare glimpse into the true dark look of a tiki/Polynesian restaurant.



Or not...as a photographer I of course appreciate moody as opposed to flash-photography interiors shots of Tiki temples.
As a photo archeologist though, I like to lighten them up so I can see the details:



Which in this case also reveal that the hanging lamps are throwing shadows against the rattan, making it unlikely that the shot was entirely lit by only the lamps themselves.
Signed, Mr. know-it-all


Or, it could be ther brightest light in the place is just off to the right there. No photographer's light, just the "natural" one off camera...


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4401
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-06-24 11:12 pm   Permalink

Does anybody ever look at Locating Tiki anymore? Or has it become crap from some old place blah blah blah blah blah lets get to the next Tiki party dude.

A beauty ashtray from the Kona Kai from ebay.






DC





 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11249
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-06-25 02:04 am   Permalink

It does seem that nowadays there are more people out there that are either into the party/event aspect or the "collector" only thing, and fewer folks that are fascinated by what led to all that: the original art and history of mid-century Tiki culture. Random, inconsequential mentions of Tiki in current media often seem to get more interest than important finds of rare photos from the the peak period of the culture.

As I said before: I am glad that I have succeeded in my goal to have Tiki become a pop culture again. But from what I see, it has become too much "pop", and not enough "culture" now. The esthetic and stylistic intricacies of the art form are lost on many. In disappointment, some of the original, true Tiki archeologists have withdrawn from the public eye, to splinter groups or their own personal blogs and Facebook. But then again, every now and then someone new joins the ranks of the seriously interested, and demonstrates that there is so much more to discover.

This is the way it has always been, and always will be. It would be wrong to commiserate and tuck in one's tail and withdraw into one's hut. On with the good fight for true Tiki!


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4401
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-06-25 08:21 am   Permalink

Bigbro,

Thanks for the pep talk, sorry for the pouting (a little late night Mai Tai infused rant).

DC


 
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hiltiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 3159
From: Reseda, calif.
Posted: 2011-06-25 08:37 am   Permalink

I also agree with both of you in this matter.

 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2697
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2011-06-25 08:59 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-06-24 23:12, Dustycajun wrote:
Does anybody ever look at Locating Tiki anymore? Or has it become crap from some old place blah blah blah blah blah lets get to the next Tiki party dude.


To me "Locating Tiki" IS Tiki Central !!

Without historical context, the Tiki Revival would have no heart and soul. Any vintage content is a "time machine" back to places that exist either as shadowy memories or which have been completely forgotten.

The "Locating Tiki" forum is our invaluable Encyclopedia Britannica of Polynesian Pop, and I find myself returning to it regularly to enjoy content which was posted over the last several days as well as almost a decade ago. It is a timeless resource.

I can't imagine Tiki Central without the continuing contributions of several key people, and DustyCajun is certainly one of those MVP's.

Thanks Scott, I ALWAYS read everything you post, the quantity and quality of which if I replied "great post" to, would become repetitious on my part. I'm sure that is the sentiment of hundreds of active participants here as well as lurkers.

But you can always bet I'm thinking that appreciation.


[ This Message was edited by: JOHN-O 2011-06-25 09:05 ]


 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 684
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2011-06-25 10:59 am   Permalink

DC, this is a favorite Tiki Central forum for me, and Im in awe of your contributions, as well as those of Bigbrotiki, Sabu, Uncle Trav and the many others here. While so much of classic tiki is no longer part of the physical present, here I can use my imagination to recreate it as I scroll through the incredible array of photos, postcards, menus, matchbook covers and other images posted here. Im a big fan of history, and I love to know the story of these tiki palaces, gladly contributing as I have time and ability. You can be assured that with each post, there will be quite a number of us who will find it both enriching and inspiring...

Having said that, heres my small contribution to the topic of this thread...

From an article in the Los Angeles Times dated April 16, 1961...

Nine tons of Polynesian art and construction materials, believed to be the largest single shipment of its kind received at the Port of Los Angeles, arrived this week for Armet & Davis, AIA, to be used in the building and decorating of Polynesian restaurants designed by the firm.

The shipment has been collected during the past year from private collections in Hawaii, from natives of the Gilbert, Marshall and Caroline Islands, Marquesas, Pago Pago, Tuamoto Archipeligo, Raratonga, and Fiji...

A major portion of the new shipment of art and building supplies will be used in the construction of the Kona Kai restaurant in Philadelphia. Armet will leave this week for Philadelphia to supervise construction.


Chicago Tribune July 11, 1961


Its clear from these archival materials that the Philadelphia Kona Kai opened circa July 1961.

-Tom


 
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