Hau‘oli Lā Hānau: Celebrating Local Company Anniversaries—August Edition
Every month, we celebrate the anniversaries of local companies and organizations. This month: A revamped source of entertainment, legal aloha, slippers and malassadas.
Left: The old Kūhiō Consolidated theater; Right: The original Island Slipper factory in Kaka‘ako.
photos: courtesy of consolidated theatres, courtesy of island slipper
When the lights dim and powerful hula dancers carrying torches light up the screen, you know you’re in a Consolidated theater. The iconic trailer has been watched more than 3 million times, according to theater officials. The theater continuously revamps its entertainment experience, with the recent additions of premium seating, 21-and-older screenings and an upgraded menu in some theaters. Consolidated is giving out a free, limited-edition magazine called Show Parade, commemorating 100 years of movie screenings in Hawai‘i, while supplies last.
The old Waikīkī and Varsity Consolidated theaters.
Bill Fleming, one of the name partners at the Cades Schutte Fleming and Wright law firm, never actually completed law school or passed the bar exam. He left Cornell during his third year of law school to fight in World War II. He was later awarded his law degree and admitted to the Hawai‘i bar under special exemption. Cades Schutte Fleming and Wright was also one of the first law firms to adopt an “Aloha Friday” dress code, allowing its attorneys to wear aloha shirts beginning in 1965. Aloha Friday officially began in 1966, when the board of directors for the Chamber of Commerce voted in favor of wearing Hawaiian shirts on Fridays. Cades Schutte Fleming and Wright LLC changed its name to Cades Schutte LLP in 2003.
John Carpenter, who took over the business from the Motonaga family in 1989, recalls working in the factory with his wife overnight on New Year’s Eve because they could not afford to pay anyone overtime. His 2-year-old son was asleep in a box as he and his wife packed merchandise. Once the company stabilized, Carpenter wanted to expand and began talking to big retailers. To support the expansion, he began outsourcing some of the production to China. After receiving a call from a loyal customer who was disappointed that the Island Slipper products were no longer made locally, Carpenter decided that every pair would be handmade in Hawai‘i.
When Leonard Rego told his bakers to make malassadas for Shrove Tuesday, a Portuguese tradition, they were skeptical. The workers feared that malassadas would be too “ethnic” and unpopular. However, they were a huge hit and Hawai‘i’s demand for the sugary, deep-fried doughnut began. Leonard’s son, Leonard Rego Jr., worked in every facet of the bakery before taking over the family business. His first job was counting scrip at the malassada wagon at the 50th State Fair. Since then, Leonard’s Bakery has expanded with the creation of the Malasadamobile and the opening of the bakery’s newest location in Yokohama, Japan.