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Waiola Shave Ice at Ala Moana Beach Park?

Sorta’. Kinda’. Um yeah, sure. Actually what you’re looking at here is a very temporary (as in ONE DAY), fictitious ‘Waiola Shave Ice’ film set for the upcoming CBS reboot of the classic hit TV series Hawaii Five-O.

This took place yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, September 15, 2010), where while not knowing in advance what was happening, as I took my usual after-work drive home detour through Ala Moana Beach Park, a police officer momentarily stopped a bunch of cars —  including yours truly — from further entering the park at the Ewa entrance. Could there be a crime scene in progress?  You could look at it that way in a make-pretend way, I suppose. After several minutes, he finally flagged us through with the all-clear, where come to find out, Hawaii Five-O was filming here this afternoon at what is normally on any other day Concessions Surf ‘N Snacks on the Ewa side of the park.

Here, in one mere day through the magic of big budget network television production and lots of talent on scene, they quickly converted this “old school” concession stand concrete building into a fictional ‘n hip ‘Waiola Shave Ice on the beach’ location for the show. That is so cool!

To contrast just how much a simple face lift of a few big ‘n hip signs and lots of fun, beautiful people patronizing the joint can do a place, here’s a look at how ‘Concessions’ looked BEFORE

and another shot this morning after it’s been returned back to normal…

Now here it is “Hawaii Five-O’ized” as it was for filming yesterday…

Neat! How fun! The thatched “grass skirt” table umbrellas is a nice touch. They should have put that stuff on the awning as well to make it look even more kitschy-tropical.

Looking at the menu board (which I shot the next morning after filming), notice they painted over what used to be a Coca Cola logo in the center of each board with blue paint…

Ironically, notice what’s missing on the menu? Shave Ice! No SHAVE-freakin’-ICE! What the?!!!! This sure was make-believe alright. lol

At the time I arrived, they were shooting “extras” scenes, which looked mostly like “filler” scenes. You know, beautiful young ladies in bikinis and guys in surf shorts walking past the camera just going about their business talking with each other, while a few folks had shave ice in their hand – all “Rainbow” flavor of course for maximum color effect and distinction of what it is on camera. This being TV production, I’m willing to bet those were faux Shave Ice made out of plastic.

I didn’t see any of the show’s celebrity stars mixed in the crowd, unless I just didn’t notice them, nor did I see any boom mikes out recording dialogue of any kind. Just lots of extras standing around waiting for the director to cue them into the scene.

The coolest part about this transformation is the custom Waiola Shave Ice logo they went out of the way to come up with…

This man looks familiar, yet I can’t quite pinpoint who it is…

Now compare Hawaii Five-O‘s idea of what Waiola Shave Ice looks like to the REAL Waiola Shave Ice on Mokihana Street and Kapahulu Avenue

And the original location on Waiola Street in McCully…


Photo courtesy of OnoKineGrindz.com

I suppose the “old school” look of the REAL Waiola Shave Ice locations have charm in their own unique way, yet I must admit, the hip and modernized Hawaii Five-O rendition is super-duper cool, most notably for the fact that’s it’s located right on one of the most popular and busy beaches on the island.

Seriously, Waiola Shave Ice should look into taking over this concession if the opportunity ever presents itself. Especially now that it will be immortalized on TV. Imagine folks on the mainland watching the new Hawaii Five-O, thinking there’s an actual Waiola Shave Ice on Ala Moana Beach, only to come here on vacation and discover it was all just make-pretend. That’d be kinda’ disappointing. That is, unless it’s going to be edited where show viewers won’t be able to tell this was shot on location at A.M.B.P..

Of course the use of fictional businesses are presented all the time in the TV and film industry, yet it’s interesting that in this case they’re using a currently operating and registered Oahu business name, but just relocating it and giving it a little makeover.  Perhaps in future Five-O episodes, there’ll be a fictional Zippy’s right on Waikiki Beach, and The Shack on the North Shore; both of which currently don’t exist.

As for the show itself, the reaction by folks who attended the Hawaii Five-O premiere at Sunset on the Beach in Waikiki this past Monday seemed to be favorable. It’ll just take some getting used to the new generation of cast members.


Hawaii Five-O Official CBS website

Thankfully one very important element they preserved from the original series is the signature Hawaii Five-O soundtrack intro’, just ever-so-slightly modernizing it with some electric guitar. Check out the making-of/studio recording of the new Hawaii Five-O theme song here…

Like the popular LOST television series was when in the making here, it’s going to be exciting for Hawaii residents and visitors alike to run into more filming locations around the islands in the foreseen future for the rebooted Hawaii Five-O.

Book ’em Danno. And have some Waiola Shave Ice while you’re at it…

23 thoughts on “Waiola Shave Ice at Ala Moana Beach Park?

  • September 16, 2010 at 8:40 pm
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    I like the old charm of the original locations, I think that’s one thing Hawai’i tries to get rid of quickly. If it’s old, it’s “had it”. I like Portland, Oregon because of its charm and uniqueness, and it looks lived in, there’s experience.

    However, I agree that with the proper vendor, it would look really good, spruce it up. Imagine a Gulick or Tsukenjo over there? I realize Tsukenjo isn’t that far from Ala Moana but that would work greatly.

    On topic, I look forward to seeing the new HAWAI’I FIVE-O, hopefully it’ll last more than 3 shows since that seems to be the trend for anything Hawaiian unless it’s Dog The Bounty Hunter. I think with some quality storylines and continuity throughout the season, it will help the show.

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  • September 17, 2010 at 6:52 am
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    John, are you implying that LOST was a success because it wasn’t “Hawaiian” (just filmed here)? I don’t mean that question in an offended way; just curious if there’s a valid argument in suggesting that.

    Diner E told me he heard whoever is the concession vendor here is responsible to clean a certain perimeter area around the building in the park. So potential businesses become apprehensive to operate there for that reason, among I’m sure other red tape that goes with such a potentially prime location.

    Ryan, I heard that “Wo Fat” or “Bolo Head Man” image will be seen in the premiere episode of Hawaii Five-O this coming Monday.

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  • September 17, 2010 at 7:15 am
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    Even though it’s rainy and grey here in Washington, that shave ice is totally the rainbow I need! I’m totally looking forward to the new 5-0 reboot. I love Daniel Dae Kim from the Lost days, and Grace Park from BSG — she’s got a good track record so far for picking TV show remakes! Honestly, I’m just glad a big network show is filming in Hawaii again — it’s a fantastic location and what a great boost for the local economy. My mom’s been sending me clippings from the Advertiser about all the local coverage of the show. Maybe if the new H50 does well, CSI will want to make a CSI-Honolulu version!!

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  • September 17, 2010 at 7:42 am
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    Pomai, was that shadow you out there? Oop! My wrong it was a shadow of a tree instead.

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  • September 17, 2010 at 3:15 pm
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    Hey Pomai, I noticed that you called it the “former” Concessions Surf ‘N Snacks. Has it closed up?

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  • September 17, 2010 at 4:56 pm
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    Russ, sorry about that. I don’t know why I said “former”. I fixed the paragraph. Concessions Surf ‘N Snacks “Ewa side” is still open, although they are “under new management”. I haven’t been there since this happened. Sounds like we’ll have to go and give it a try!

    Amy, just what are you trying to say? My head and/or body is shaped like a tree? lol

    Wasabi Prime, I’m excited for the reboot as well. Although I must admit I never was a fan of the original Hawaii Five-O. Not that I disliked it, but never really sat down and watched an entire season (or single episode for that matter). Now that the new version is coming out, it makes me more interested in watching the original series so I can compare the old and the new. ;-)

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  • September 18, 2010 at 8:02 am
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    Pomai, the original was kind of too serious not like how Magnum P.I. some light side funny eps and some serious ones. Hot weather wearing suits does not have the island look at all.

    My mom use to worked for CrackSeed Center on University Ave met the original actor played Dano when filming there many years ago. He came into store ask for a special milkshake my mom made for him. That over 25 years ago.

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  • September 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm
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    I never like the original when I was growing up because it was too unrealistic — What cops wore suits and ties in Hawaii, and why did all the Asians (even Chin Ho) have such small roles? However, I am curious to see the new version.

    My 13-year-old son just downloaded the theme song from “Hawaii 5-O” for his call ringtone and the theme song from “The A-Team” for his text ringtone! He pointed out that the TV theme songs from that era seemed much better (actually orchestrated) than a lot of the TV songs today, and I have to agree.

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  • September 19, 2010 at 8:23 am
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    Jenny, I agree as well, the “old school” TV show theme songs were much more catchy, thanks to the use of REAL instruments, not electronic synthesizer keyboards (although the Fender Rhodes Electric Piano contributed a lot back then as well). The horn section especially stands out. Listening to the Hawaii Five-O rebooted theme song, It sounds like they toned down (or mixed down the volume of) the flute section, which I think is the only thing wrong with it. I’m cool with the addition of the electric guitar and the mild distortion effect, which really is the main difference with the new version, as long as they continue to keep the foundation of the sound score orchestrated.

    Goes to show, the classic Five-O theme song is so memorable and catchy, even teenagers today like it. At least enough to use it as a ring tone!

    Kelike, I was going to say that it would have been great if Jack Lord were still alive to see the Five-O reboot, but then again, he spent a good part of his later years suffering from really bad Alzheimer’s disease. People used to spot him walking around near Kapiolani Park near his condominium in the Sans Souci, all in a daze, not knowing what or who was going on around him. Kinda’ sad.

    Here’s an interesting trivia about Jack Lord: Did you know he was once considered to be Captain Kirk over William Shatner in the original Star Trek TV series? It’s true! The reason he wasn’t selected is because he demanded a royalty cut $$$ of the show from the executive producer, which as you see where that went.

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  • September 19, 2010 at 12:07 pm
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    The image on the sign reminds me of Uncle Fester, ya know, from the Addams Family!! HAHAHA

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  • September 19, 2010 at 4:13 pm
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    The contest! What happened to the contest???!!

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  • September 19, 2010 at 4:51 pm
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    eleki, the Musubi Bag giveaway contest is at the end of the previous post on Musubi-ya Iyasume. Note, the deadline to enter expired last night. I’ll announce the 2 lucky winners later this week.

    TJ, umm, perhaps a little, but that Waiola man definitely looks more Hawaiian and/or Chinese.

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  • September 19, 2010 at 6:25 pm
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    I watched the original series as a kid and what I remember from it are the locations. Creating a fictional Waiola when there’s a real Waiola with a lot of character is just, well, duh!

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  • September 20, 2010 at 10:17 am
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    Pomai, when my dad went Mckinley High School on King St there was teacher who got role on Hawaii 5-0 in the 70. Teacher was Mr. Lim (dad) can’t find yearbook but Mr. Lim played a detective that wear a straw hat in the show. He been on a lot of eps till serial ended and writers killed him off. Well that show biz.

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  • September 20, 2010 at 4:55 pm
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    @ Kimo – are you talking about Kwan Hi Lim? I remember him as a per diem Judge for the Courts. Used to see him at the barber shop when I would tag along with my Dad when I was a small kid. Hawaii Five O tonight!!

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  • September 21, 2010 at 5:12 am
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    My wrong it was Magnum P.I. he played the detective Toshi. Hawaii 5-0 he played bad guy role.

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  • September 22, 2010 at 9:29 pm
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    maybe a little late….but hey saw the 5-0 episode….and while it was a lil wooden at parts….i love it. gorgeous shots of hawaii of course. i feel the new mcgarrett + danno are a bit too abrasive with each other. chin ho played by daniel dae kim is awesome tho, my fave actor. grace park is a good fit too–i’m sure she can bring more than just showin’ off some skin :D i loved the original 5-0, used to stay up late to catch it on reruns…..may have to collect those DVD’s :)

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  • June 30, 2011 at 8:24 pm
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