The Passing of a Legend

I consider myself smart enough to know that things cannot remain the same forever.  Change is inevitable.  The Beatles sang it best when they penned “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.”  But how I wish some things would stay the way they were just a bit longer.

We are constantly told that time heals all wounds.  In a way, this is a very true philosophy.  Time allows our memories to get a bit hazier, we begin to forget the negatives and tend to focus on the positives of the past.  Eventually we give ourselves enough time to process the hurt or pain until we finally find a healthy release for our emotions.

It’s been almost a month since you went away, but I still talk to people about you ever chance I get.  They can see the smile on my face when I tell them about all your little idiosyncrasies that made you so unique.  You were never into fashion, cleanliness, comfort or the newest technological crazy.  You were set in your ways, a rock, blatantly defying the tide of change…and I adore that about you.

You were never one to apologize for your unkept appearance.  If something was broken, you left it that way and fixed on your own schedule.  If there was an unsightly stain, you covered it up and dealt with it after it dried out.

I never heard anybody ever complain about your cooking.  Your culinary skills were legendary when it came to the art of popping the perfect kernel of corn, or pouring the perfect icee.

I miss you.

After 20 years serving the south Maui community, the Kukui Mall Theaters closed their doors to the public on November 15, 2012.

The “ghetto” theater is dead.  Long live the “ghetto” theater!

The Kukui Mall Theaters, also known by many patrons as “The Ghetto Theater“, was run by Consolidated Amusement Company.  The lease for their location in Kihei was up at the end of November and they chose not to extend their time in the Kukui Mall.  Consolidated Amusement also has a theater complex in Kahului at the Queen Ka’ahumanu Center.  According to news reports, all 13 employees of the Kihei location were offered positions at the other location.

Now Kihei is left without a theater complex.  There is no word on whether another company will use the existing space, that is now for lease, for a new movie theater.  Unfortunately, this gives the big Kihei mega-mall project some momentum to talk about bringing in a bigger, state-of-the-art super-duper movie theater along with their mainland malls and cookie cutter retail sprawl.

Give me the Kukui Theater over 3-D, stadium seating rocking chairs any day.  Give me the broken chairs covered in black plastic trash bags and the stained carpet lining the theater walls.  I enjoyed having the person who sold me my ticket, rip the ticket and then close the window so they could sell me concessions.  The place had personality.

When I first visited Maui in 2003, myself and two friends played a trivia game the theater had in the lobby.  When I saw the same game over two years later, our high score was still the one to beat.  I think I may have seen a hot dog on the rollers from two years ago as well still spinning around on the rack.

I liked the fact that you had to wait for the movie to be selected to play at Kukui.  Limited to four screens, sometimes the film wouldn’t make it to Kihei and you would have to drive into town and watch it at the Maui Mall or Ka’ahumanu.  These experiences made me appreciate the quiet, little theater less than 5 miles from home.  If my friends at I made last minute plans to catch a flick, we knew we could leave our homes with less than 10 minutes until showtime and still have time to get popcorn before the commercial and previews ended.

You didn’t want to miss the previews because you did not want to miss Consolidated’s introduction.  For those of you who have never seen it, and for those who want a walk down memory lane, Consolidated has a one minute introduction to let their patrons know the film is about to begin.  Even when I visit the mainland, I get excited to see this intro…but of course, it never comes.

I do not like posting outside links on this blog, nor using other people’s images, but I need to make an exception in this case.  (Please be aware the link below will open up you tube)

Consolidated Amusement Company: Entertaining Hawaii since 1917

Farewell, Kukui Mall Theaters.  You are missed.

Vincent Lorusso Written by:

A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives. - Jackie Robinson

One Comment

  1. December 10, 2012

    Love it Vinny . I watched ” cliff hanger” there opening day!

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