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Saturday May 18th 2024

Blue Hawaii | 1961

The Elvis of the movie years rarely ventured beyond the soundstage, so there aren’t too many Presley locations, but he could always be tempted out to Hawaii, where this story of a GI turned beachcomber was filmed.

Hawaii had only received US statehood in August 1959 and was eager to publicise its wonders in a major Hollywood film.

These include, of course, Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Oahu, nearby AlaMoana Park, and Hanauma Bay Beach Park down on the southeastern point of the island.

Away from Oahu, there was more filming on the smaller, beautiful 'Garden Isle of Kauai, at Lydgate Beach, on the east side of the island. Just north of here, Chad Gates (Presley) finally marries Maile Duval (Joan Blackman), to the strains of the Hawaiian Wedding Song, at the lagoon of the Coco Palms Resort, 241 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa. Naturally, Blue Hawaii double-canoe weddings became a major selling point for the hotel.

Coco Palms opened in 1953 on 46-acres which had once been home to Kauai’s last queen, Queen Deborah Kapule Kekaihaakulou. Damaged by Hurricane Iniki in 1992 (the storm which also destroyed sets for Jurassic Park), it's currently undergoing a major renovation.