Oʻahu movies you should know about!
Are you visiting Oʻahu and looking for interesting and fun movie sights to see? Check out some of the many different locations that are highlighted in popular films!
Who doesn’t love movies? Whether you like to get dressed up to go out on the town, to the theater with those you love, with the aroma of freshly popped popcorn and butter hitting you as you enter, and sitting back snacking on the popcorn along with something sweet or sipping on your favorite cola. Or you are more into stacking the blankets and pillows on the couch, cranking the AC down, snuggling up with loved ones, and flicking on the TV to flip through your favorite streaming service to find the perfect film. Either way you prefer, movies bring people together. If you’re a movie lover, chances are you’ve seen a scene or two that were filmed on Oʻahu!
The Polynesian Cultural Center welcomes the King and many more
The Polynesian Cultural Center, which is about to celebrate it’s 60th anniversary, started off with a bang when Elvis Presley came to film his 2nd Hawaiʻi based movie, Paradise, Hawaiian Style!
It certainly wasn’t the last time film crews came to utilize our beautiful grounds for their films, television shows and music videos. The Donny and Marie Show, the Today Show, The Brady Bunch, and so much more have flown across the Pacific to utilize our island home for their productions. This summer (2022) Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson was honored by our island villagers when he came to visit, and this winter we were graced with a visit by Jason Momoa.
With 42 acres covered in native flora, waterfalls and a meandering lagoon – plus the six recreated Polynesian Villages representing Hawaiʻi, Aotearoa, Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti and Tonga, it’s no surprise that we are so popular.
Kualoa Ranch wins the prize for most movies filmed on Oʻahu
This former home of the aliʻi (royals) of Hawaiʻi is featured in the films Jurassic Park, Fifty First Dates, Godzilla, and the recent Disney film Finding Ohana, along with the shows Lost, Hawaiʻi 5-0 and so much more.
Anciently, this stunning location with towering mountains cascading down to the crystal blue ocean, was “considered to be one of the most sacred places on Oʻahu and the training ground for the children of the most powerful of aliʻi (chiefs)”. Considered one of the most beautiful areas of Oʻahu, it’s easy to see why it is so popular. Go see it for yourself and experience a tour through the ranch via jeeps, ATVs and even horses!
Kawela Bay site spells adventure!
Located north of the Turtle Bay Resort, this beautiful spot includes an impressive Banyan Tree that is featured in the films The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as the television series Lost. It is a treat to see the beauty of this magnificent tree, and then to wander just a few steps more to enjoy a secluded bay perfect for swimming and sun bathing. If you are looking for a sweet treat after, stop by the fruit stands run by the tenants of Kuilima Farms right across the street!
The Hukilau Cafe lends it’s name to an Adam Sandler favorite
Located in the town of Lāʻie, this grub spot gave their permission to utilize their catchy name for the film 50 First Dates (the actual site used was a film set over at Kualoa Ranch, but Adam Sandler’s production team provided a generous compensation for the name). Additionally, an episode of Man vs. Food was filmed at the site. Go try out the same coconut macadamia pancakes from the film, they’re delicious! After your breakfast you can spend your day shopping at the Hukilau Marketplace or laying out at the beautiful Hukilau Beach right across the street!
There are so many different film related sights to see on the island of Oʻahu, but they are all beautiful and interesting. So pick your favorites and enjoy!
About the Author:
Gage Norman is a Sophomore at Brigham Young University who enjoys surfing, running, and being outdoors. He is studying Business Management with an emphasis on Supply Chain Management. He has future aspirations to work in sports administration and business.
Great topic, Gage- you might want to add that the Banyan tree was where the ghost monster came out to attack the passengers in the film LOST. I was standing in Foodland, Laie once and overheard people in front of me wondering where they could see where Lost was filmed. I drew them a map to Kawela and they sent me a gmail thanks- my sister is Peggy Hannemann, by the way _ I eat free at 7 Bros!!!