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Check Six – 1950: Going to the Drive-In

October 18, 2021

In May 1950, a 199th Fighter Squadron F-47N Thunderbolt was hauled, fully assembled, on a flatbed trailer in the wee hours of the morning from Hickam AFB to be set up as a static display at Kapi‘olani drive-in theater lot on Kapi‘olani Boulevard in Honolulu. The static display was part of the public relations to go along with the premiere showing of the movie “12 O’Clock High”.

Click to enlarge photographs – click to enlarge

In the photographs:

Photograph 1: The F-47 Thunderbolt being towed in downtown Honolulu, There was much dodging of high-power lines, telephone poles, stop signs, etc.

Photograph 2: The F-47 Thunderbolt static display on a grassy area close to Kapi‘olani Boulevard.

Originally F-47s were called P-47s, the “P” being for pursuit. The P was also used for the P-51, P-38, etc. Right after World War II, the name “fighters” replaced “pursuit planes”, thus the change to the designation of “F” in front of the number.

Photograph 3: This photograph was probably taken between 1960 and 1962. It shows the Kapi‘olani drive-in theater in relationship to the Ala Moana Shopping Center, which was constructed in 1960.

The Kapiolani Drive-In was opened August 14, 1949 and was the first drive-in theater in Hawaii. The drive-in was located on 50 acres between Kapiolani Boulevard and Kalakaua Avenue in what is today the Kapiolani business district. It closed on April 29, 1962, and demolished later in 1962. The Holiday Mart department store would be built in its place before the Daiei company bought it sometime in the mid-1980’s, before being bought by the Don Quijote company in 2006.

Related article: The Real Twelve O’Clock High

From → History

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