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The Kapu Kai 

This documentary project has been something I've been working on for the last four or five years. Granted, there was a portion of that time where the project sat idle, but finishing it up was always on my mind. The story of the Kapu Kai begins back in the 60s and winds its way into the present day. My father, with his partners, owned and operated the bowling alley and restaurant in Cucamonga California. It was destroyed by a flash flood in 1969 and the resulting financial ruin brought my family back to Hawaii.

This much I already knew, however, these "memories" were from the point of view of a seven year old. In many respects, I'm not totally clear if these are my memories or thoughts and images implanted in me by my parents and their recollection of events. In late 2007 I started searching the Internet and stumbled upon a website talking about our old bowling alley.

That website, Tiki Central, and the people I met there, were instrumental in the making of this short film. Another critical link came from an area journalist writing for the Daily BulletinDavid Allen in his blog wrote a story about the Kapu Kai that led me to people with first hand accounts of the flood that proved so devastating.  At first, I envisioned a short slideshow with some narration but it soon blossomed into a larger project. My mother decided that it would be a good idea to take it a step farther and financed a 10 day trip to California to interview people for our film. We drove a lot, got lost a lot, but ended up with enough video to create what I hope is an informative and enjoyable short film. 

Many thanks to everyone who participated and offered encouragement and assistance along the way. 

Reader Comments (4)

Thanks so much for this! I was 5 years old when the floods destroyed the Kapu Kai. Later, I spent my junior high school years at Roller City. Thanks for documenting the story of your family and what was an icon for me growing up. All the best.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRandy Lopez
Thank you Randy for watching my film.
November 21, 2013 | Registered CommenterColin Sato
Really cool film. Thanks for documenting the legacy of the Kapu Kai.
November 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKevin
Very well done. Informative and extremely entertaining. Thank you for your vision to make this delightful doc.
December 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Banks

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