New exhibit features never-before-seen photos of Waikiki Beach Boys

By Cam Tran
Published On: Jul 08 2013 03:28:59 PM HST
Updated On: Jul 08 2013 08:10:34 PM HST

They are rare and never before seen images of Duke Kahanamoku and the Waikiki Beach Boys. The photos will be part of a new free public exhibit at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

HONOLULU -

Just a few yards away from Waikiki Beach hang the photos of the men who helped to make it famous.

"It's called the Waikiki Beach Boys and Matson and the Royal Hawaiian partnered up to bring this exhibit to Waikiki," said Lynn Blocker Krantz of Matson Archives.

Matson photographers took these photos in the early 1900s mainly for magazine articles and ads, but many were never published.

One of them is a rare photo of Duke Kahanamoku in a skipper hat taken in 1931.  The exhibit showcases other notable surfers like Tom Blake as well as some who are not too familiar.

"We have photos of Georgie Kapu.  We don't know much about him but he was 9 years old when the photo was taken at the Royal Hawaiian and he was the Beach Boy mascot.  Who knew there was a Beach Boy mascot?" said Krantz.

Not only is the exhibit a chance to feature the Waikiki Beach Boys, but the curator hopes you can recognize some of them.  In one photo, there are three Beach Boys and two tourists who have yet to be identified.

"What I am hoping for is when people come to the exhibit, they'll say, 'Oh, that's my uncle so-and-so!.'  And maybe they'll let the front desk know at the Royal Hawaiian and we'll have him identified," said Krantz.

The exhibit will open on Wednesday in the lounge of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.  It features 34 pictures and runs through next year.

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