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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki The Polynesian Floor Show - (Vintage!) thread
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The Polynesian Floor Show - (Vintage!) thread
bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11004
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-09-12 4:56 pm   Permalink

I am starting this thread to pay long due respect to a an aspect of American Polynesian pop that was integral to many Tiki temples and venues: The Polynesian Floor Show!

Once there was a large community of artists spread across this land, often traveling from one venue and city to another, intermingling and hiring as well as competing with each other. These native entertainers (be they Polynesian, Asian, South-American, or American) were an important part in the make-believe world of Tiki, just as carved Tikis were.

I have been perplexed on how little material has surfaced on this genre here. I understand it to be partially due to the fact that Polynesian entertainers are not "Tiki" per se, but I believe that before they are all but forgotten, it is high time to collect all possible materials on them. Their community must have been as hard hit by the decline of Tiki restaurants in the 80s as any restaurant proprietor was.

I begin with a few artists shots, known and unknown, but I am also looking especially for floor show programs, hand bills, posters, and ads from the heyday of Poly pop and Tiki. It seems that there was not much individual promo material produced for these entertainers, they sort of "came with the place".


Unknown dancer at the Chin Tiki


Unknown Fern Tiki priestesses



These guys and gals performed at the Lanai in San Mateo and the Tonga Room in San Francisco in the 60s:


And just to re-iterate: This thread is NOT for contemporary floorshow photos such as this:



Even if you were fortunate to witness the Mai Kai floor show in recent years, there would be far too much material for this thread, which is best kept in your Facebook photo albums.


 
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A Frame
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 16, 2009
Posts: 250
From: Mr. C's on the Coast Highway
Posted: 2011-09-12 5:15 pm   Permalink

You're always are finding new ways to keep TC fresh BigBro, yet another novel idea! There must still be many of these performers or their relatives around to tell their stories. Looking forward to hearing & seeing more!

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11004
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-09-12 5:24 pm   Permalink

Thank you and Exactly, Anders! Let's dig them up and ask what hey have in their attic and albums, before it all disappears! Everybody, get involved, seek and post here! Current Polynesian show members probably have family connections to classic Tiki temple performers, for example.

 
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tikiyaki
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 18, 2004
Posts: 2696
From: The Exotic Port of REDONDO BEACH, CA
Posted: 2011-09-12 5:31 pm   Permalink

Yea...I like this thread already....Great idea. The Mai Kai one is pretty amazing, I must say.

Here's a classic !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwQVTlHyiyI



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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4074
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-09-12 5:47 pm   Permalink

Bigbro,

I had thought about starting this thread, glad you did. Dinner and a show I like to call it.

Here are a few vintage performers.

The Royal Hawaiians a featured act at Shanghai Lil's from 1972.




Some images from the floor show at the Seven Seas in Hollywood.















DC


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4074
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-09-12 6:01 pm   Permalink

Here are a few more.

George Kainapau at The Hawaiian in Long Beach.



And an ad from the floor shows at the Polynesian Village in Chicago.



DC


 
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The Granite Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 02, 2005
Posts: 806
From: Nashua, NH
Posted: 2011-09-12 6:18 pm   Permalink

Great thread idea! I was privileged to sit in on a conversation between Francis Llacuna and the great family of performers at The Tiki Resort, and it was amazing to hear about the people they knew in common in the business, including relatives and friends, who had worked together through the years at many of the Tiki palaces all across the country. This is a strong community of tightly bound performers. Hearing these pros talk was one of my favorite moments of Ohana Luau at the Lake.

 
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VampiressRN
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 5513
From: Sin City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2011-09-12 6:30 pm   Permalink

Great thread Sven...Tiki history through pictures is so exciting. DINNER & A SHOW INDEED!!!
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11004
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2011-09-12 7:53 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2011-09-12 18:18, The Granite Tiki wrote:
Great thread idea! I was privileged to sit in on a conversation between Francis Llacuna and the great family of performers at The Tiki Resort, and it was amazing to hear about the people they knew in common in the business, including relatives and friends, who had worked together through the years at many of the Tiki palaces all across the country. This is a strong community of tightly bound performers. Hearing these pros talk was one of my favorite moments of Ohana Luau at the Lake.



Granite, you are exactly corroborating the points I was making above. There are some great pictures and stories out there that are mostly untapped so far.


 
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tigertail777
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 25, 2004
Posts: 638
From: Oregon
Posted: 2011-09-12 8:30 pm   Permalink

Well not sure if this counts or not, but here is a matchbook I bidded on ebay for (and lost... really? Who pays $80 for a single matchbook cover?) Not so much a show in a Polynesian bar/restaurant as a theatrical Polynesian stage show that apparently traveled to different theater houses. Looks to me to be late 30's/early 40's from the design. Not sure if this was an actual play with a story, or more along the lines of vaudeville vignettes...or what exactly I couldn't find any info on it.




 
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Jeff Central
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 1565
From: Columbus, Ohio
Posted: 2011-09-13 07:46 am   Permalink

Great idea Sven!!

This is the stuff I live for. Now maybe I'll get off my butt and transcibe the interviews I've done with the aforementioned Francis Llacuna. Like Carl said, he is so full of wonderful stories from back in the day! It is simply amazing.

I've got great album covers to add to this thread as well. All privately pressed stuff!! Look for them soon!

Cheers and Mahalo,
Jeff


 
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lucas vigor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 12, 2004
Posts: 3985
From: SOCAL
Posted: 2011-09-13 08:10 am   Permalink

Wait! No surf bands? No exotica groups?

I thought that was the hallmark of "tiki"?

You mean to tell me that back then, they had real hawaiian music in these tiki temples? Perhaps even Hapa Haole music?




But seriously, I bet Pat Enos from the Smokin' menehunes knows half these people in these pictures. After all, he is one of them.





[ This Message was edited by: lucas vigor 2011-09-13 08:11 ]


 
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GROG
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 21, 2006
Posts: 6668
From: Tujunga
Posted: 2011-09-13 08:48 am   Permalink

All these pictures of pretty hula girls and then Lucas posts this?!

Way to kill a thread.
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4074
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-09-13 08:58 am   Permalink

Look forward to hearing the stories and see those albums from Jeff Central.

Thought I would add from more visuals from Florida, which seemed to be the hotbed of the Polynesian Floor Show.

The Polynesian Room at the Yankee Clipper hotel in Fort Lauderdale.





The South Pacific In Hallendale.









The Hawaiian Inn in St. Petersburg.







The Hawaiian Inn Daytona Beach.



The Hawaiian Isle in Miami Beach.



Had to add the Mai Kai Islanders (vintage)




And, lest we forget where it all began, a few from Hawaii.

Entertainment at the Planters Lounge in the Kauai Surf Hotel.




Alfred Alpaka and his band at the Tapa Room in the Hawaiian Village Hotel.





DC


 
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Jeff Central
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 1565
From: Columbus, Ohio
Posted: 2011-09-13 09:08 am   Permalink

Awesome pictures Dustycajun!!!

Is that Lundy Nelson (2nd from left) from the Mai Kai Islanders photo? I'm really looking for info on him. I have his one LP but am looking for anything else. Swanky didn't seem to know much about him. Does anyone know if he is still alive?

Cheers and Mahalo,
Jeff


 
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