“Forgotten Hollywood”- Rebuilding a Kauai Treasure…

Posted on June 25, 2016 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here… oct-08-2013-coco-palms-hotel-high-resolution-rendering-750xx4000-2250-0-0

   Work has finally begun on rebuilding the storied resort where Elvis Presley’s character got married in the 1961 film Blue Hawaii, decades after a major hurricane heavily damaged its buildings and forced its closure. The company redeveloping the Coco Palms Resort began demolishing structures this week. The demolition will take six months. It hopes to reopen the hotel in mid-2018.

   Coco Palms initially opened in 1953 next to a historic coconut grove and ancient Hawaiian fishpond. It’s been closed since Hurricane Iniki — a Category 4 storm — slammed into the island of Kauai in 1992. The 46-acre grounds were once home to Kauai’s Queen Deborah Kapule Kekaihaakulou. It’s the site of key scenes in Blue Hawaii, including the last one where Presley sings the Hawaiian Wedding Song, and holds his bride’s hand while they board a raft to cross a lagoon.


           ELVIS PRESLEY

   Structures of the steel and concrete buildings will stay but their interior walls, plumbing and electrical wiring will be gutted. These buildings will house 80 percent of the hotel’s rooms. The bungalows housing suites, including the suite where Presley stayed during the filming of Blue Hawaii, are wood. These will need to be taken down and rebuilt eight feet above sea level to comply with new federal requirements to prevent flooding. The fishponds and lagoons are on the state historic registry and will be preserved. The renovated hotel will have 350 rooms, including 22 master suites and 50 junior suites. Hyatt will manage the hotel, once it reopens.

   Coco Palms Hui will set aside four acres for a community nonprofit that will offer lessons in Hawaiian culture, including hula, lei making, Hawaiian language, and playing the ukulele. The nonprofit will also provide hotel workers with a guide about Hawaiian culture and the historic Wailua area.

   Coco Palms is in Wailua, one of two political centers on Kauai before Europeans arrived in Hawaii in the late 1700s. Commoners farmed taro, a Hawaiian food staple, and tended fishponds in the fertile valley. Wailua has numerous shrines, which were reserved for the use of royalty and priests but fell out of use when the traditional Hawaiian religion was abolished in 1819. The area was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1962. Producer Hal Wallis would use the box office returns from Blue Hawaii to finance his next film, 1964’s Becket.

   On a personal note, I visited the historic area, six weeks before Hurricane Iniki slammed into the garden paradise.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Saturday, June 25th, 2016 at 12:41 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Bookmark this post:
Digg Del.icio.us Reddit Furl Google Bookmarks StumbleUpon Windows Live Technorati Yahoo MyWeb

Comments are closed.