True Hawaii

Oahu: A Film Buff’s Quest

Top 6 Places To Film Your Own Scene
1. Honolulu. Shop, eat and street walk this capital city, which has served as stand-in for Los Angeles, New York, Iowa, South Korea, Iraq, Nigeria, England and Australia – and that’s for ABC’s Lost alone.
2. Waikiki Beach. The land of Don-Ho, Hawaii Five-O and Elvis, Waikiki lets you play out your kitschy ‘50s fantasies, either by surfing the bunny waves or by shopping at the markets for tikis and worldly tchotchkes.
3. Kapiolani Beach Park. Find a quiet picnic spot near the row of trees made famous in Hawaii Five-O’s opening montage.
4. Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor isn’t just a 2001 movie filmed here. At the newly opened Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor’s Ford Island, you can see artifacts of the real World War II event, including historic planes such as the Japanese Zero and Navy Wildcat. You can also see original film and photos of the December 7th, 1941 attack.
5. Sea Life Park. This marine park in 50 First Dates is scenically placed between the Koolau Mountains and Makapuu Beach.
6. Waimea Valley. The Audubon Center is home to scenes from George of the Jungle and Lost – a good place to lose yourself in Hawaiian nature.

Epic Picnic
Home to Hollywood’ most epic embrace – Burt Lancaster and Deborah Karr locked together in the waves in From Here to Eternity – the cusp of Halona Cove is still missed by most visitors. At one corner of the parking lot (off the Kalanianole Highway north of Hanauma Bay) there is a viewing point where everyone scurries to see the famed Halona Blowhole. Wander to the opposite corner of the parking lot and you’ll spy the cove where the steamy scene was filmed. A short, steep trail gets you there. Powerful currents often swirl through, so swimming isn’t a good idea, but picnicking is.

Hollywood Tour
Oahu Film Set Tours will take you to the vast Kualoa Ranch, where you can see Godzilla’s footprints, the Windtalkers’ battleground and Jurassic Park sets. Much of the tour takes place off-road and includes both the ranch and the verdant Kaaawa Valley on the island’s east side, once one of the most sacred places on Oahu. Here children of the most powerful chiefs were trained for war and schooled in chants and songs. Today much of the Kaaawa Valley remains largely undeveloped, and the ranch belongs to the same family that purchased it from King Kamehameha III in 1850.

Reel Oahu
If you’re eager to see Hawaiian celluloid, time your visit to coincide with the Louis Vuitton Hawaii International Film Festival, held in late October, which typically screens more than 250 films. The festival gives special play to Hawaiian filmmakers.

Long a gathering place for the Honolulu society, the Kahala Hotel has become a favorite spot for movie stars, such as Adam Sandler, Nicolas Cage, Sean Penn and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Insider Tip
This tip comes courtesy of Michael Emerson, aka Ben of Lost: “I love the local acid-jazz collective known as gr00ve.imProV.arTiSts with maestro-trumpeter DeShannon Higa and the mighty Maris Remos on vocals. They’re often at Jazz Minds Art & Café on Kapiolani Boulevard on Thursdays.”

Published: 29 Oct 2007 | Last Updated: 1 Apr 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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