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Unread 06-30-2014, 09:09 AM   #1
Hee_Haw
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Default Ala Moana (Shopping Center)

There was a special program channel 2, on Ala Moana Center, sponsored by Hawaiian Dredging (who built the center back in the 50s, and still building today with the expansions)...and I was thinking back.

Ala Moana has been a hub of life ever since its beginnings; more than just shopping...it was a landmark, a place to meet, a place to just stroll and people watch...a place to go to.

While the modern-day touches and upscale stores have displaced just about every tenant that was there in the "early days", some still consider the center a place to live life...though (IMO) not like before; it seems you need to have a pocket full of cash to just sit down somewhere (kiosks and outside cafes take over where sitting spaces used to be), plus the whole upscale thing...I thought that belonged in Waikiki, not Ala Moana. And now people are going to LIVE on the site also with the upscale condo units being built...

When Sears was finally closed for good last year, that was the final blow for me. That was one of the last characteristics of what made Ala Moana a place for me to go to. No more. With the exception of the Ho'okipa Terrace (the eateries on the top level), I don't go there any more.


What is your earliest memory of the Center, or your most notable memory? How do you feel about the changes made in the last decade or so? Discuss.
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Unread 06-30-2014, 10:10 AM   #2
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i remember getting fishing permits (licenses) at HonSport to go catfishing at Nuuanu reservoir.
I remember Woolworths downstairs.
i remember getting boy scout and cub scout stuff @ sears next to the boy's jeans and dickies pants section.
i bought my first set of Craftsman tools there when i used to wrench on cars.
i remember my friend working in the photo studio @ JCPennys.

i'm sure there's more...
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Unread 06-30-2014, 10:11 AM   #3
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oh, i think there was a honolulu book store downstairs somewhere.

used to go there after school w/ friends, park there when going to the beach, pick up mac salad or fried chicken from zippys for beach potlucks.
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Unread 06-30-2014, 05:59 PM   #4
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what? they closed Sears? boo!
well that shows you how much I visit that place.
I used to like going to Ala's... I did the people watch thing.
the Bookstore (was always not too far away from center stage)
and the camera shop was cool places to visit.
Shows at the center stage.
I like visiting the sharper image store.
idk it really doesn't feel the same ever since the high end shops starting coming in.
Even more so when they added the 3rd floor.
I mean that's cool for business and everything, also great for the tourists but...
a military buddy of mine visited a couple of years ago and I took him to Ala's... he just wanted to buy an Aloha print dress for his wife... he actually called Ala's "ritzy" and told me that he just needed to go somewhere to buy something at a fair price. I was going to take him to Hilo Haties in Kakaako. We visited the stadium swap meet to take a look around for souveniers...
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Unread 06-30-2014, 06:54 PM   #5
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yep. closed sears a while ago (but still at Pearlridge and Windward Malls).

if the parking wasn't so bad w/ all the construction, i'd probably go more often but i just don't like the constantly changing parking patterns and tight turns w/ concrete barriers.

son likes to go to Macaroni Grill and CPK when we're there, and the bookstore. we'll stop by the apple store and drool, or the MS store and look at stuff for my surface P2, or clothes shop @ Macy's but that's about it. if we don't HAVE to go, we avoid it.

With all the roadwork at night going on, it's not worth going out to pearlridge or hawaii kai because I hate traffic... which means Ala Moana is about the only mall (except for Kahala, but there's not much there).
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Unread 07-01-2014, 10:33 AM   #6
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One of the "quests" whenever I went to Ala Moana with my parents was Pete''s Modelcraft.

I could stay in there for hours and not touch a thing. Just look, and look, and look, and....

And the glass case that displayed contest entries, models of all kinds; cars, ships, planes, tanks. I swore I would build something to go in that display one day. Unfortunately, the day never came before they closed.

I still have a few plastic model cars that survived the years without being thrown away/ converted to 1/24 slot car dragsters/ blown up with firecrackers. Those are great memories.

OH, and Keiki Land. That was Ala Moana's version of the Fun Factory. Rides and everything! The boat ride (in real water no doubt) was a favorite, but I really liked the old-school mechanical game machines.
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Unread 07-01-2014, 10:40 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Act162this View Post
i remember getting fishing permits (licenses) at HonSport to go catfishing at Nuuanu reservoir.
I remember Woolworths downstairs.
i remember getting boy scout and cub scout stuff @ sears next to the boy's jeans and dickies pants section.
i bought my first set of Craftsman tools there when i used to wrench on cars.
i remember my friend working in the photo studio @ JCPennys.

i'm sure there's more...
I remember Woolworth's!

It took two floors of the Center. I remember the smell of the pepperoni pizza when you got to the mall level on the escalator. That was sOOOOOO good.

And the coffee shop there. I'd always order the hot sandwich (turkey or roast beef) with gravy all over the place.


I remember Sears' Boy Scout section. I bought my first flint and steel and Heatab stove (the folding stove with hexamine fuel tabs). I felt like a Boy Scout even if I wasn't one.


Oh, and JC Penney's restaurant on the top floor. I had my first Patty Melt there. Rye bread, swiss cheese, burger, and the special sauce.

I'm being propelled back further and further in the time machine! Yikes.
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Unread 07-01-2014, 10:41 AM   #8
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Woolworth's fried chicken = next best thing to Pioneer. I don't remember Pete's Modelcraft, but I used to do the same thing in Hobby Company and Chairman Of The Board in Pearlridge and Legionnaires on Dillingham Blvd.
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Unread 07-01-2014, 10:46 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Hee_Haw View Post
One of the "quests" whenever I went to Ala Moana with my parents was Pete''s Modelcraft.

OH, and Keiki Land. That was Ala Moana's version of the Fun Factory. Rides and everything! The boat ride (in real water no doubt) was a favorite, but I really liked the old-school mechanical game machines.
Pete's modelcraft rings a bell...

Keikiland might be a bit before my time or I may have been too young to remember (was that around Mitsukoshi/space invaders and Castle Park days)?
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Unread 07-01-2014, 10:47 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by bandits1 View Post
Woolworth's fried chicken = next best thing to Pioneer. I don't remember Pete's Modelcraft, but I used to do the same thing in Hobby Company and Chairman Of The Board in Pearlridge and Legionnaires on Dillingham Blvd.
Oh yeaahhh... woolworth's fried chicken!

wasn't Legionnaires where people went to get D&D stuff?
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Unread 07-01-2014, 10:51 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Hee_Haw View Post
I remember Woolworth's!

It took two floors of the Center. I remember the smell of the pepperoni pizza when you got to the mall level on the escalator. That was sOOOOOO good.

And the coffee shop there. I'd always order the hot sandwich (turkey or roast beef) with gravy all over the place.

Oh, and JC Penney's restaurant on the top floor. I had my first Patty Melt there. Rye bread, swiss cheese, burger, and the special sauce.

I'm being propelled back further and further in the time machine! Yikes.
I don't think I remember eating at any of those coffee shops - i know woolworth's used to have a food place, though. i remember their fried chicken.

don't think i ever ate at Penny's, though.
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Unread 07-01-2014, 10:52 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by bandits1 View Post
Woolworth's fried chicken = next best thing to Pioneer. I don't remember Pete's Modelcraft, but I used to do the same thing in Hobby Company and Chairman Of The Board in Pearlridge and Legionnaires on Dillingham Blvd.
Holy cow! Legionnaires!
I bought most of my AD&D stuff there. Plus all my G.E.V. and OGRE gaming stuff too. Ho, inner nerd alert!
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Unread 07-01-2014, 11:02 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Act162this View Post
Pete's modelcraft rings a bell...

Keikiland might be a bit before my time or I may have been too young to remember (was that around Mitsukoshi/space invaders and Castle Park days)?
Oh yeah, Keiki Land probably closed up when I was 8-9 years old, so that was mid '70s. I was barely old enough to ride in the boats...in fact, I had to have Mom with me I think. (short)

Pete's was, If I recall, street level, somewhere's on street level, facing mauka. Hey, found a picture!



Image courtesy of Jason N. at midlifecrisishawaii dot com

It probably was still around the time Mitsukoshi/Space Invaders days, because we would catch the bus to Pearlridge to go to Hobby Company and Pete's Modelcraft at Pearlridge (when they had multiple locations).
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Unread 07-01-2014, 11:47 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Hee_Haw View Post
Holy cow! Legionnaires!
I bought most of my AD&D stuff there. Plus all my G.E.V. and OGRE gaming stuff too. Ho, inner nerd alert!
Haha, we played AD&D for a couple of years during intermediate school. We only bothered to learn about half of the rules since we were mostly in it to "find" powerful weapons and kill things with them. I still have my old lead/pewter figurines lying around somewhere. If a zombie apocalypse ever hits, I can melt 'em down and make a Balrog Bullet.
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Unread 07-01-2014, 03:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Hee_Haw View Post
...
It probably was still around the time Mitsukoshi/Space Invaders days, because we would catch the bus to Pearlridge to go to Hobby Company and Pete's Modelcraft at Pearlridge (when they had multiple locations).
omg! I know it's off topic but I remember the Mitsukoshi/Space Invaders place! ah* fond memories, I tell my children of those good ole 'days' since they are starting to become 'gamers' like their dad. Even their mum has now taken to vdo games on her mobile.

back to topic: Mhmm. I remember Woolworth.
ah. the crackseed place is the place I visited too. (isn't this still there?)
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Unread 07-01-2014, 04:04 PM   #16
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omg! I know it's off topic but I remember the Mitsukoshi/Space Invaders place! ah* fond memories, I tell my children of those good ole 'days' since they are starting to become 'gamers' like their dad. Even their mum has now taken to vdo games on her mobile.

back to topic: Mhmm. I remember Woolworth.
ah. the crackseed place is the place I visited too. (isn't this still there?)
dunno about the crackseed place, i remember it moved out to the first floor, front of the mall (i kinda remember it was around where HIC and Foodland were).

haven't been to the mall in so long, don't know if it closed up, though.

used to go w/ dad to Mitsukoshi every now and then to play space invaders and galaxian.

i remember shooting a hole in the little houses to hide and shoot through in space invaders.

i used to like centipede, defender, berzerk and joust.
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Unread 07-02-2014, 05:17 PM   #17
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I guess back to the topic at hand...

Try going to Ala Moana and give it a look-see.

I'm actually curious now to just walk the entire mall for exercise and also to see what has changed. I mean the WHOLE of it.

I don't even know what it's like on street level, where Liberty House/Macy's used to be...I saw on the upper deck a Morton's Steakhouse restaurant (too rich for my blood plus i'm backing off of red meat)...

Even lower level...I have no clue. Who wants to go first?
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Unread 07-02-2014, 08:09 PM   #18
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I guess back to the topic at hand...

Try going to Ala Moana and give it a look-see.

I'm actually curious now to just walk the entire mall for exercise and also to see what has changed. I mean the WHOLE of it.

I don't even know what it's like on street level, where Liberty House/Macy's used to be...I saw on the upper deck a Morton's Steakhouse restaurant (too rich for my blood plus i'm backing off of red meat)...

Even lower level...I have no clue. Who wants to go first?
if it wasn't for the PITA parking, i'd pro'lly be more willing to go.

son and i go to walk around sometimes when wife brings lots of work home so we get out of her hair. we go down to pick up coffee or jamba juice for her and just go mall crawling.

lots of little boutique stores. little coffee cafes (we still like coffee bean), touristy sunglass and hat shops.

we always stop @ Barnes on the first floor to look for books for the boy.

shirokiya's has a pretty good food court, but it's a bit pricey.

we like the apple and microsoft stores, too.

mostly we go to eat up on the top floor, though. he could live at Macaroni Grill or CPK.

i tried walking there for exercise when it's too rainy or i can't find parking at the beach, but i end up putting the calories back on when i stop for a frappucino.
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Unread 07-02-2014, 08:12 PM   #19
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oh, we like to pop into the oakley store to see what's new.

son is gonna be needing a new pair of oakleys (he outgrew the small fives) for baseball (eye protection). not cheap, but all it takes is a bad hop or line drive to the face and he could lose vision (seen it happen).
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Unread 07-03-2014, 11:07 AM   #20
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Remember Iida's?

I loved going in there and closing my eyes. I could smell ancient Japan in there. Plus the fake toy samurai swords. I always wanted one.

And of course, Shirokiya. Same thing, but you get Japanese enka music to add to the atmosphere. And the smell of the food department.



Sounds like the kind of music always playing in the store.
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Unread 07-03-2014, 02:19 PM   #21
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Remember Iida's?

I loved going in there and closing my eyes. I could smell ancient Japan in there. Plus the fake toy samurai swords. I always wanted one.

And of course, Shirokiya. Same thing, but you get Japanese enka music to add to the atmosphere. And the smell of the food department.



Sounds like the kind of music always playing in the store.
oh, i forgot about those toy swords. was cleaning out my storage and found an old toy plastic samurai sword years ago. iirc, you could buy those girls day dolls and boys day koi there too.

i dunno about karaoke enka... my friend was saying if it doesn't sound like you're having a stroke, you're not doing it right.
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Unread 07-04-2014, 12:56 PM   #22
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Landmarks at Ala Moana I remember;

The Sandbox at street level; hardly went there because Mom didn't want me to be filthy while I tagged along behind her at the stores. Later had a report of fleas (I think) in the sandbox, not sure if it was from cats. Then it was gone.

The big fountain/ water display at the "center" of the mall, upper level. It was tall and flat, with odd graphics on the front, almost hawaiian tribal looking. Also the fountain downstairs by Byron II restaurant (downstairs makai down the escalator by Shirokiya.) It had those big square looking sculptures with water flowing out of them. And the koi in the pools.

Anyone remember they once had a huge bird cage? Hard to see the birds but there was one.
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Unread 07-05-2014, 05:18 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Hee_Haw View Post
Landmarks at Ala Moana I remember;

The Sandbox at street level; hardly went there because Mom didn't want me to be filthy while I tagged along behind her at the stores. Later had a report of fleas (I think) in the sandbox, not sure if it was from cats. Then it was gone.

The big fountain/ water display at the "center" of the mall, upper level. It was tall and flat, with odd graphics on the front, almost hawaiian tribal looking. Also the fountain downstairs by Byron II restaurant (downstairs makai down the escalator by Shirokiya.) It had those big square looking sculptures with water flowing out of them. And the koi in the pools.

Anyone remember they once had a huge bird cage? Hard to see the birds but there was one.
i vaguely remember a fountain before they made that koi pond that ran the length of the mall. i remember when they were renovating and building the new layout, they kept the koi in tanks in the lower parking lot and someone stole a bunch of the larger ones.

i think the sculpture downstairs is still there, although it's now assagios (and not bad, either).
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