From Our Files

In 1888, King Kalakaua issued a royal charter, commissioning a magazine. Then titled Paradise of the Pacific, this publication became HONOLULU Magazine, making it the oldest magazine west of the Mississippi.



Paradise of the Pacific chronicles the triumph of the Honolulu Outdoor Circle in persuading Joel C. Cohen, then president of the Consolidated Amusement Co., to “never again interrupt the landscape with announcements of million-dollar super-paramount silver-sheet triumphs de luxe.” Due to the Circle’s efforts, billboards were already rare, with theater owners the last holdouts. Pictured here is Cohen, with the Circle, promising to tear down the “nature-nagging barriers.” Today only Hawaii, Alaska, Vermont and Maine prohibit the use of billboards.



Cowabunga, dude! Surfing may have been invented by Hawaii’s alii, but surf music was a strange 1960s California import, complete with its own language and dress code. “The basis of surfing music is rock-and-roll bass beat figuration, coupled with a raunch-type weird sounding lead guitar, an electric guitar plus wailing saxes,” observes Paradise of the Pacific. The surfing music of the West Coast drifted over to the Islands with the tunes of Dick Dale and the Beach Boys. The music was meant to represent the action of surfing and the mood of the sea. The story included a glossary of surf terms, including “hodad” (loudmouth), and “tag-a-long” (steady date).



“Since its inception, the [Aloha Stadium] has billed itself as ‘the first multi-purpose stadium that is not a compromise,” writes HONOLULU Magazine. But reconfiguring the stadium twice a year for football, then baseball games, for which the stadium was designed, was already turning into a cost and maintenance headache. The Stadium Authority had just broached the idea of locking the stadium in a single shape—a debate that would rage on for 25 more years. The stands were locked into a football configuration in 2007.