Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Answers to Questions.........and the usual ramblings

Aloha from cold Honolulu..........yeah, I know, no sympathy from most of the winter world.  Well, the 60's are cold here at night and with the wind chill, even 50's.........and in a Speedo it's even colder........ok, enough.

Rubber Chicken asked so many good questions on my  gmail account, I thought I would answer them here.  I know I did write about some of this earlier, but this blog is sort of like "LOST"--who wants to go back and read all the old posts to know what's going on?

Those of you who have the amazing Google Maps downloaded can check out photos of the areas of Honolulu being discussed here.  (zip code is 96816)

His questions pertain to the "old" studio and its location.  I don't actually know if the address was 3949 Diamond Head Road.  As I remember it (33 years ago this Spring), it was on 22nd Avenue and Diamond Head Road.  Because the "new" film studio is on 18th Avenue at Diamond Head Road and has the address of 510 - 18th Avenue, I'm not sure about the 3949 address.  The next time I am over there (which might be tomorrow or the next day), I will check it out and maybe take some photos.  I was working up the hill in 1976 at what is now Diamond Head Theatre when I got a call about salvaging some materials that were left behind when 5-0 moved to the new 18th Avenue studio location.  I turned their old sky cyc. (light blue muslin material used outside their office interiors as "sky") into many backdrops and show curtains for years after at the theatre.  As I recall it was on 22nd Avenue--but maybe it was further down?  There is no building large enough to have been a soundstage there now, but so many of those old WWII buildings have been torn down (some were even pre WWI).  I do know that the first season (at least) of 5-0 was filmed in an old quonset building at Pearl Harbor.  You could still see part of it, but I haven't really bothered to look lately.  I remember hearing it was a real mosquito haven.  I'm sure Jack's hair prevented any from biting him there.

While I don't know which episode was entitled "Lest We Forget," I do know that we used the entrance (and other parts) of the building on 22nd Avenue and DH Road as a prison and other "secure" or military looking locations in other episodes.  It's still there and I will post some photos--at least they won't have to travel to India to appear on this blog.  (still waiting for their return btw).

A 1976 building permit would have been issued for the "new" (Butler brand warehouse building) sound stage that was erected at the current film studio at 510 18th Avenue.  As I stated before, the (now "old") soundstage has been renamed the "Hawaii 5-0" stage even though it was only used the last 3 seasons (1976-79) of 5-0.  It would have made more sense to call it the "Magnum, P.I." stage since it was home to all 8 seasons of Magnum.  The old office-bungalows are still there only because the State ran out of money to tear them down and build what was supposed to have been another set of offices for another sound stage that was also not built.  The "new-est" soundstage and offices are currently being used by "LOST" with the 5-0 / Magnum stage used only for storage.

Again, as mentioned before, this entire section of Honolulu was a pre-WWI army base called Fort Ruger.  It included all of Diamond Head crater and the area from Kahala Avenue to part way down Monsarrat Avenue and all the way up the hill to Leahi Hospital which was "THE" hospital in 5-0 and also often used in Magnum as well.  At each end were the stone guard gate houses when the entry to the army base would have been restricted.  The larger one near Kahala Avenue does not have a roof but houses an electrical substation for the area.  The smaller one on the town side is just empty.  It's hard for most people to imagine the size of this base with huge gun implacements (some still there), an area that now houses a large cemetery,  a community college, Diamond Head State Park, water supply tunnel, etc.

As far as "teaching the ways of our strange Oahu building codes" that Rubber Chicken requested, I could start another blog on that subject alone--only it would have to be anonymous.   I prefer not wearing any concrete when swimming in the ocean.

I have a few last set photos to post and hope I hear from my friends in India soon on the 96 slides I've sent.  When I last heard they were "in queue" which sounds better than dumped in a pile awaiting scanning.  I also found some things to put on ebay that might interest some of you.  I will at least post the photos here before they go away to a better home than 25 years in my attic.  I found some plans and drawings of the big Vietnam Hotel set and a lot of my notes from scouts and schedules and things.  I even found  complete crew list.  I doubt that any of the phone numbers would be the same 25 years later and most names were listed at the end credits anyway.  Any other documents with names or location phone numbers would not be a good thing to post.

I love reading your comments I hope as much as you enjoy my posts!



rubber chicken said...

Thanks so much Rick for the in depth response!

For those who are curious, below is the bulk of the email to which Rick was responding to. My response below that is a bit detailed and obscure, and likely boring, so the casual reader is forewarned. : )

I'm hoping you can help confirm the location of the studio where Hawaii Five-O was filmed before moving to the current Hawaii Film Studio.

Is the address of the former studio 3949 Diamond Head Road? Or another way to present the question would be to ask if it is the building shown in the google maps link below (which is 3949 Diamond Head Road)...
google maps link

The front entrance of this building was used in the Magnum P.I. episode Lest We Forget (1.10), and I noticed that permits were drawn in 1976 for this building in the name of the "HAWAII FIVE O STUDIO" - the page is linked below if you're interested. (Click on "View Building Permits" to see the mentioned permits.)
page link

If this was the correct location, do you know what years HFO was filmed here?

By the way (if you have more time to waste) do you happen to know what the structure is that's seen in the upper-middle part of the episode screenshot linked below? It appears to have windows without glass, and possibly no roof? Teach me the ways of your strange Oahu building codes.

In response to your post Rick, I did remember your previous post about the history of the Hawaii Film Studio that mentioned the Hawaii Five-O studio locations. But since that didn't concur with my theory, I conveniently left that out hoping that I might bring you around to my way of thinking. : )

I have an aerial photograph from 1971 (cropped version seen here) that shows the area being discussed and the old Fort Ruger buildings at 22nd Avenue & Diamond Head Road are the same today as they were then.

I should clarify that the long building at 3949 Diamond Head Road was actually a different building then (at least up to 1975 and perhaps some years beyond) although it was about the same dimensions. So the building Magnum enters in Lest We Forget (1.10) is not the same building that was there when HFO would have occupied the property. However, the large warehouse type building behind it (which I'm thinking was the HFO studio) appears to be the same.

That front building in 1976, (likely not yet replaced with the current building) being a long simple warehouse type structure more typical of Fort Ruger, may be helping you to picture the studio at 22nd & Diamond Head, since the buildings there are still that type. I hate to disagree, but I'm thinking this was indeed the Hawaii Five-O studio before the operation was moved to what is now the Hawaii Film Studio. Is that possible? Hope you don't mind. Really, when you think about it, a fifth of a mile after 33 years isn't that big of a difference! : )

Concerning the structure seen in the screenshot included in the email... So it's a gate house for guards at the entrance of Fort Ruger, very interesting! And now used to house an electrical substation! Is it wrong that I'm completely fascinated by such things?

Thanks again Rick for your great responses, I really appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

Rubber Chicken, if you're still following this, any chance you might have more of that arial photo? As a child, in 1971, I lived in Fort Ruger, where the Kapiolani campus is now. In a few weeks I will be visiting the islands for the first time in forty years. I plan to visit the campus to see what memories come back. I know all of the buildings are gone, but I was hoping to figure out where they stood. So you might imagine how tantalizing it was to find your photo--the exact year, but just a few streets away.