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

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5065
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2011-06-27 06:03 am   Permalink

I read. I often wish there was a "Like" button here on TC so that when I go to that very obscure location that just got a tiny bump I can say "I was here. I care." I started to re-post these things on my own blog a while ago to be a sort of TC filter for the Tiki-nerds. It just takes too much time to keep doing that. I don't want to post all the time, but you know, maybe we should! Maybe if those of us who read these parts of TC keep bumpng them up, it'll get more attention. What do you think?
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Iscah
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 03, 2011
Posts: 67
From: Quiet Village Tiki Lounge, MD
Posted: 2011-06-27 08:22 am   Permalink

As a recent transplant to the east coast, I'm wondering what locations even exist out here anymore. I'm just outside DC, and about two to three hours from Philly-- and I actually go up that way about once a month. Mind, I'm not talking about extant tiki temples, it seems there's plenty of info to be had about those, but about the ones that are closed down and whose A-frames still exist.

I used to do a bit of urban archaeology back in So Cal when I lived there and loved little things like "there's the DtB sign in the parking lot across from the Hollywood/Highland monstrosity"! Driving through the cities of Orange and Anaheim was great fun- all the Googie architecture and tiki apartment complexes. =)

So, is there anything left of the Kona Kai at this point? I saw someone mention earlier that it's now a Target. Oh god, tell me that's not true.

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Psycho Tiki D
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 13, 2006
Posts: 1810
From: The river Styx, can you pay the toll?
Posted: 2011-06-28 2:59 pm   Permalink

Besides falling into the obvious "collector" descriptive and since most of my posts are now regulated to Tiki Finds, I find the Locating Tiki thread a very close second to my top two threads on this forum.

I have learned more about the pre and post history of tiki; primarily to the few aforementioned contributors to the subject matter found in these postings. What I see and read makes it extremely helpful to know what to be on the lookout for and for that I thank all who post here.

Dusty, does it make more sense to post finds from the subject matter in these threads or in the Tiki Finds thread, or both?

Nothing wrong with a party, but I remember what brought me here to begin with!

Later,

PTD


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4427
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-06-29 4:49 pm   Permalink

Thanks Hiltiki, John-O, Tiki Tom D, Swanky and PTD for your responses. I had to vent and I appreciate your support.

Tiki Tom D, another great find on the LA Times article. Can you imagine 9 TONS of Polynesian art and building material coming into the Port of Los Angeles for shipment to the Kona Kai? That is amazing!

Swanky, I hear ya, the facebook like button seems to be the tool to leave our footprint these days. I am always torn about the simple bump post, as I like to add something of value to the thread when I post.

PTD, Yes, Yes and Yes. Post on Tiki Finds but more importantly post your finds in the appropriate thread on Locating Tiki. I know, from following your posts, that you have a ton of great material that can be added here.

Now, back to our show. I picked up two Kona Kai postcards with the artist renderings. The first one has been seen before from the menu I posted, finally got the postcard.



Here is the second, gives you and idea of how big the Marriott complex was after it was expanded and explains why this was the flagship location for the Kona Kai.



Close up of the Kona Kai entrance and gardens.



DC


 
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Trad'r Bill
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 14, 2008
Posts: 485
From: Hercules, CA
Posted: 2011-06-29 5:41 pm   Permalink

Like!

 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4427
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-08-30 5:07 pm   Permalink

I found this photo on flickr showing the Kona Kai entrance with fully mature landscaping.



A close up with a little enhancing.





Quite a different look than the opening day photo!



DC


 
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King Bushwich the 33rd
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 10, 2005
Posts: 1202
From: Ling Cod Beach, CA 90803
Posted: 2011-09-27 11:02 am   Permalink

The Marriott Kona Kai of Phildelphia,then newly opened, is featured at the very beginning of the TV series, Route 66, in an episode from Dec.8, 1961 (second season), titled, "The Thin White Line".

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[ This Message was edited by: king bushwich the 33rd 2011-09-27 11:55 ]


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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4427
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-09-28 5:21 pm   Permalink

King B,

Nice find on that Route 66 clip showing the Kona Kai. Cool to see it at night all lit up like that. I grabbed a screen shot.



Here is an ad from the Kona Kai I found recently.



I also picked up two old swizzle pics that I had not seen before with the signature Tiki.




What a great place.

DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4427
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-11-17 4:29 pm   Permalink

Always nice to add something new to this great thread.

Picked up a drink and dinner menu set from the Kona Kai in Philly.

The nice dinner menu cover art.



The day-glo drink menu.




Some of the drink photos.






They illustrated the Tiki mugs and shot photos of the regular drink glasses - that seems a little backwards.





DC


 
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tikifred
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Dec 20, 2009
Posts: 64
Posted: 2011-11-18 9:53 pm   Permalink

To think...I went to high school about two miles from where the Kona Kai was, in the late 70's. I wasn't into Tiki then as I am now. If only I could go back in time.....

 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4427
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2012-08-06 12:27 pm   Permalink

I just got this 1970's era Marriott postcard that has a little photo of the Kona Kai restaurant. How about that bed-cover!



Here is the interior photo. Lots of drink-ware on that table.




DC


 
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Hakalugi
Site Administrator

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 3097
From: Redondo Beach, CA
Posted: 2012-08-06 1:41 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-02-07 13:04, Or Got Rum? wrote:
This one is on Ebay (not mine) 99.99 BIN.







Here are some more pages from this menu:












 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4427
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2012-12-07 4:28 pm   Permalink

Found this article from 1961 describing the design and construction of the Kona Kai, with a nod to architect Louis Armet including credit for designing the carvings.







DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4427
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2013-06-23 09:00 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-11-15 15:27, bigbrotiki wrote:
And then there is ONE photo of which I am dying to find a good quality print of. It is the Kona Kai entrance lobby, and I only ever saw it as part of a collage in the Armet & Davis offices:

I zoomed into the collage and brought up the exposure, so we can appreciate what a glamorous Tiki Temple this must have been:



What I would give for that photo! Tiki at the peak of the style! Part of the proscenium made it back to LA, but the two Tikis? The one on the right clearly is the one in blueprint Nr. 2 on top of this post.




Birgro,

Found that photo on-line, it's a beauty.



Definitely from the blueprint.



It is part of the Jacob Stelman Architectural Photography collection
See Here.

DC


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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11266
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2013-06-23 1:08 pm   Permalink

Whooaaah! THANK YOU thank you thank you, DC, for that find. Now THAT'S the entrance to a Tiki TEMPLE

 
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