From Our Files

August archives

Our History

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.




“From keiki to tutu, this month-long hula festival belongs to every age,” observed Paradise of the Pacific, predecessor to HONOLULU Magazine. “And if you can’t sing or swing, just stop, look and listen, and enjoy.” Paradise commemorated the cultural traditions of hula in the Islands and the enjoyment of hula productions as well as amateur gatherings. “King Kalakaua resolved to revive centuries-old chants and dances. He sent couriers into remote mountain villages to find Hawaiians who could still remember, still interpret with that uninhibited grace we take for granted today.”




HONOLULU talked story with Pat Morita, the California-born actor best known for his roles as Arnold on Happy Days and Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid films. “I was surprised I got the role of Miyagi! I’m still astounded,” said Morita. He was 53 when he starred in The Karate Kid and commented on the difficulty of learning to portray a martial arts master. His work in the film resulted in an Academy Award nomination in 1984 for best supporting actor. A frequent visitor to the Islands, Morita starred in several Rainbow Chevrolet commercials. Morita went on to play Miyagi in four Karate Kid films. He passed away in 2005.



In 1999, the city spent 4 million to restore the Natatorium’s facade. In 2010, the city decided to tear the pool down. The facility has been closed for 31 years.


“The Territory of Hawaii built the Beaux Arts-style Natatorium in 1927, dedicating it to islanders who served in World War I,” notes HONOLULU. The saltwater pool was the nation’s first “living” memorial. As the natatorium began to deteriorate, discussion arose as to whether it should be torn down or restored. HONOLULU declared it one of “The Nine Most Endangered Historic Sites in Hawaii.” (This year’s list will be published in our November issue.) The Friends of the Natatorium preferred full restoration, while the Kaimana Beach Coalition argued that the archway should be preserved and the pool torn down. After years of inaction, the city finally made a decision in 2010 to tear the pool down.