Magic Island fails to appear in old aerial shot of Honolulu
  • Friday, January 18, 2019
  • 72°


Magic Island fails to appear in old aerial shot of Honolulu

  • courtesy bob sigall

This is one of Hawaii’s earliest color aerial photographs. It shows Ala Moana Center under construction in 1955.

Dillingham Corporation had the photo taken by Camera Hawaii to show the crushed coral foundation that the shopping center would be built upon. Phase One of the Center would open four years later in 1959.

Rainbow Rollerland, Likelike Drive-Inn, and Scotty’s Drive-In restaurants are visible on Keeaumoku Street, near the middle of the photo.

The Drive-in Theater opened in 1948. It was renamed Kapiolani Drive-in when Kam Drive-in opened in Pearl City in 1962. Pacific Theaters of California bought Consolidated Theaters of Hawaii just for this Drive-in property. They quickly resold the Drive-in property in 1962, and some of it became Holiday Mart. Today it’s Don Quijote.

One of the most interesting things about the picture is what is missing. Magic Island is absent from the picture. It would be 17 years before Magic Island would open in 1972.


Bob Sigall, author of "The Companies We Keep," looks through his collection of old photos to tell stories of Hawaii people, places and companies. Email him at

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