Sep 14, 2015
Consolidated Theatre's Hana Hou Picture Show
It's a packed house at Ward Theaters. Inside the cinema, the buttery smell of fresh popcorn floats through the air as the iconic '80s comedy-adventure flick, The Goonies, blazes away to a sold-out crowd.
Small bits of laughter and sporadic bursts of applause cut through the the theater as the scene of Chunk doing the Truffle Shuffle nears. And when Chunk lifts his shirt, and busts a move in all of his dancing glory, the crowd erupts.
While all of this may sound like the standard reaction you'd expect to see at the debut of The Goonies in 1985, this screening of the film actually occurred just a few years ago. So why is a 30-year-old cult classic film like The Goonies playing in this day and age? It's all part of Ward Theater's Hana Hou Picture Show, a grand plan to give a second life to some of the most legendary flicks from the past 30 years.
"Yes, we're bringing back iconic films to Honolulu," says Ward Theater's Lindsay Chun-Hori with a chuckle. "We just passed the four-year anniversary of the Hana Hou Picture Show actually. It all started in 2011 when Paramount Pictures re-released Top Gun on the film's 25th anniversary. We all love Top Gun and we're always quoting it over here. So we spoke to our New York office to see if we could screen it here in Hawai'i. It was approved and we actually had two sold-out screening and had the highest-grossing showings in the nation. From there, we took a moment and said, 'I think we might have something here.' And that's how the idea to create the Hana Hou Picture Show arose."
As it turns out, Chun-Hori was on to something. Honolulu loves films. Cult classic films from the '80s and '90s to be precise. Since Ward Theaters began to breathe life back into movies like The Princess Bride (Chun-Hori's personal favorite) Labyrinth, and Indiana Jones, all in a Titan XC theater, crowds have come out in droves to take in some of their most beloved movies once again on the silver screen. Alien, Jaws, and Fight Club are but a few of this ever-expanding lineup to have had a rebirth in Honolulu theaters.
It's a pretty simple concept. People love to see their favorite films on our Titan XC theater. When we screened Labyrinth, it was absolutely fascinating to watch. People dressed up, sang along, and knew exactly what to expect. I think everyone really loved the idea of watching a classic film surrounded by 400 other people who treasure it just as much as they do.
So how does Ward Theaters pick and choose which films to revive for their monthly event?
At each screening, they pass out a flyer, asking attendants which movies they'd like to see. Once they have a list of candidates, they then post the film roster to their Facebook page and ask the public to vote. Not long after, the film is up and running to a packed house.
"All in all, we're thrilled with the way the Hana Hou Picture Show has excited film fans across the island," adds Chun-Hori. "Having a chance to watch your favorite movies back on the big screen, with our sound system and Titan XC theaters, it's just a great experience. Who wouldn't love that?"
Interested in re-experiencing some of your favorite films? Check out Ward Theater's Facebook page to stay up to date on the Hana Hou Picture Show. And just in case you're wondering what's coming next, in September, they'll be showing Flash Gordon, and in October, they'll be re-releasing Back to the Future II on the same day, October 21, 2015, that Marty McFly travels to the future.
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Forward Journal: Winter 2017
Dec 22, 2017
Read the editor's note from the Winter 2017 Forward Journal.