Brigands, Barons & Beachcombers: The Many Faces of Planter’s Punch
Presented by Beachbum Berry with special guest Brian Miller
Planter’s Punch is Tiki’s template: most of the great Tiki drinks are based on it, from the Mai Tai to the Zombie. It also has a 300 year history that includes Caribbean pirates, British nobles, brutal slave-drivers, and of course the godfather of Tiki himself, Don The Beachcomber. Join Beachbum Berry and special guest, NYC’s infamous “Tiki Pirate,” Brian Miller of “Tiki Mondays With Miller.” To learn more about Jeff & Brian CLICK HERE
Forbidden City, USA: Chinese American Nightclubs, 1936-1970
Presented by Arthur Dong
It was the big bands of the 40s. It was the fabulous 50s. It was San Francisco nightlife–Baghdad by the Bay– and the crowds were packing the nation’s only all-Chinese nightclubs. Like the Cotton Club of Harlem which featured America’s finest African American entertainers, cabarets with names like Forbidden City, Kubla Khan, and the Club Shanghai gained an international reputation with their glamorous showcase of Chinese American performers in all-American productions.
Oscar®-nominated filmmaker and writer Arthur Dong spent over thirty years chronicling this forgotten chapter of entertainment history, producing an award-winning documentary and culminating with his fabulous book, Forbidden City, USA: Chinese American Nightclubs, 1936-1970.
Join Arthur as he shares a treasure trove of memorabilia that captures the magic of this golden era. He’ll present a fascinating collection of photos, postcards, menus, programs, and yes, even souvenir chopsticks that take you on a dazzling trip along the Chop Suey Circuit.
Hear about “the Chinese Sinatra”, “the Chinese Sophie Tucker”, and the “Chinese Sally Rand” – some of the spirited personalities who defied racial and cultural barriers of the time to pursue their showbiz dreams. Everyone knew about Chinese laundries and cooks. But a Chinese tap dancer? A Chinese jazz crooner? And for a Chinese girl to bare her all in public? What can be “Wong” about that?! Bottoms up on those Mai Tai’s!
Books will be available for purchase and signing. To learn more about Arthur Dong CLICK HERE
“PREFAB PARADISE: A Look Back at Walt Disney World’s original Polynesian Village Resort”
Presented by Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily
From “Luau Cove” to the “Great Ceremonial House”, The Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World has offered a taste of the tropics to vacationers for over 40 years. Travel with artists Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily back to the 1970s for a virtual vacation at the original resort once touted by Disney marketing as a “prefab paradise.”
THE KAHIKI: Crown Jewel of Polynesian Supper Clubs
Presented by Jeff Chenault
Returning to The Hukilau this year is Jeff Chenault – Exotica music expert and writer for various magazines including Tiki News and Tiki Magazine. Jeff is also co-author of the book Kahiki Supper Club; A Polynesian Paradise in Columbus. Join Jeff on a visual history of one of the most extravagant Polynesian restaurants ever!
Learn why the Mai Kai inspired the original Kahiki owners to build their own Tiki paradise. See the infamous Kahiki blueprints and gaze at the wonder that was the proposed new Kahiki! Learn how the Kahiki influenced generations of diners and drinkers for nearly 40 years! It’s everything you ever wanted to know about the Kahiki and then some!
As an extra bonus guests will be treated to a sample cocktail from the Kahiki menu made by The Hukilau Staff especially for this event.
Jeff will be available to answer questions and sign copies of his book immediately following the symposium. To learn more about Jeff Chenault CLICK HERE
Pacific Ocean Park: The Rise and Fall of Los Angeles’ Space Age Nautical Pleasure Pier
Presented by Domenic Priore
Domenic Priore, co-author of Pacific Ocean Park: The Rise and Fall of Los Angeles’ Space Age Nautical Pleasure Pier (along with theme-park designer Christopher Merritt) will host this presentation (edited by Merritt) tracing the construction, realization and wind-swept destruction of this combination Googie/Tiki attraction, hanging out over the Pacific Ocean in L.A. from 1958 to 1967.
You’ll see some really good images of the big Tiki ride out at the end, Mystery Island, a living, breathing in-person version of the sound effect world most often heard on all the Arthur Lyman and Martin Denny records. There was a whole Tiki SECTION, actually, called Mystic Isles… at which Mystery Island was the last outpost, escape from L.A., the end point of demarcation. An Eiffel Tower-like ariel ride from 1925 was re-purposed as The Mahi Mahi Tower, best known for its use in the final, climactic episode of The Fugitive. There was also The Deepest Deep, at which a beachcomber ghost who was lost at sea guides you to the bottom of the ocean. Hell yeah.
The main cool thing about the park, design-wise, is that it was super-Googie and super-Tiki at the same time. The starfish entrance predates what many of us would still recognize today in the design of the L.A. Airport theme building. A stroll through Neptune’s Courtyard and its connected Neptune’s Kingdom plunged the senses directly with this sense of place, the mythical sea (in a Modernist context). The Ocean Skyway took you out over the waves in bubbles that looked as if Raymond Loewy had designed them. Rockers who performed there included Ritchie Valens, Sam Cooke, Dick Dale, The Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, The Byrds, The Doors and Syd Barrett’s version of The Pink Floyd.
After ten years, the dream ended, and the rotting, derelict monolith sat above thee most radical pier-shooting surf spot in Venice. The adventurous locals who surfed it later became well-known as the skateboard pioneers featured in the documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys. Fires, waves and big storms took their toll on the closed and neglected Pacific Ocean Park between 1968 until 1975, when the state of California finally had mercy and destroyed it for good. A preservationist work all told, the drama will be encapsulated by this entire presentation. To learn more about Domenic Priore click HERE
They Paved Paradise and Put Up a Parking Lot: The story of Tiki Gardens
Presented by Jon Bortles and Tiki Gardener
Born in the heyday of Florida roadside attractions, Tiki Gardens was an exotic jewel, glittering in the Gulf Coast sun. With a tireless promoter in Trader Frank and a creative spark from his wahini Jo, it grew from a small shop to acres of attractions and massive tikis that drew half a million visitors a year to it gates. Although it was open for over 20 years, it missed the tiki revival movement so much of it’s history was thought lost, save for some postcards, an iconic album and hazy memories. Longtime Tiki Gardens aficionados Tiki Gardener and Jon Bortles are teaming up on a forthcoming book and will be showing a timeline and tour in pictures and sound. Learn more about both Jon and Tiki Gardener HERE