A portion of Kalakaua Avenue was closed to traffic, as “Hawaii Five-o” films a key scene in its premiere episode Sunday morning.
The street was reopened around 10 a.m.
The television series is closing the normally busy Waikiki road to pedestrians and traffic to create the illusion of an abandoned Wai-kiki for the show’s fifth-season premiere, according to Walea Constantinau, Honolulu Film Office commissioner.
Kalakaua will be closed in three phases, starting at 5 a.m. when two lanes will be closed, Constantinau said.
All lanes will be closed at 6 a.m. when the crime series shuts down Kalakaua between the point where it meets Kuhio Avenue up to Lewers Street. That will last until 9 a.m. when the closure will be shortened to Sara-toga Road. Kalakaua will be reopened completely at 10 a.m.
Pedestrians are being allowed to proceed to stores, hotels, and side streets, but may be asked to follow a detour or wait a few minutes, the city said in announcing the closure.
As is standard with Kalakaua Avenue road closures, Olohana and Kalaimoku Streets will be closed between Kuhio and Kalakaua Avenues. Lewers Street between Kalia Road and Kalakaua Avenue and the makai portion of Beachwalk near Kalia Road will become a two-way streets. Standard parade access procedures will be in effect.
None of the stars are involved in Sunday’s shoot. Driving shots that require road control for the safety of the public as well as the production crew are being filmed during the closure hours.
The Sunday morning date and early start time were chosen because it is one of the times with the least amount of vehicle traffic and the fewest number of businesses open in that area. Also, the specific location was selected because it affects the fewest number of businesses and residents in the area.
“Because this is supposed to look like a deserted Waikiki, there are no actors, no action,” Constantinau said. “It’s just empty. They really don’t want the public to be out there because it wrecks the shots.”
Peter Lenkov, the show’s executive producer, hinted at this scene when production resumed earlier this month.
“In the premiere episode you’re going to see the island like you’ve never seen it before,” he said at the time. “And it’s going to be abandoned. It’s going to look like a ghost town. Yes. A million people will have disappeared, and we’ll wonder why.”
The episode will screen first for Hawaii fans during a red-carpet celebration Sept. 13 at Sunset on the Beach. The network premiere of the fifth season will be Sept. 26.