Issue 8.1: February/March 2005

Lights, Camera, Movie Museum!

Lights, Camera, Movie Museum!

by Liza Simon
photo by Kent S. Hwang

From the parking lot in Kaimuki, it looks like just another neighborhood nook, but with 12,000 films and a cozy theater boasting nineteen easy chairs, the Movie Museum offers the finest flicks this side of Hollywood. Hard-to-find rentals here include complete catalogues of works from the world’s great directors, horror movies shelved by their decade of origin and new genres so avant that no critic has yet coined a term for them.

Credit for the Movie Museum’s reputation as an over-the-top haven for film lovers must go to owner Dwight Damon (pictured here in the red shirt), a cinema addict who was raised on drive-ins and has been greeting customers here—often with tidbits of his own film philosophy—since taking over the business from another local buff thirteen years ago.

This was the scene on a very rainy recent Tuesday afternoon: Dissolve from a close-up of proud filmic father Dwight to a wide-shot of a baby boomer leading elderly parents inside the Movie Museum to find out whether today’s screening offers a dry divertissement from the sodden outside. "We’re showing Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress," Dwight says. Pan to perked-up faces across the room, as it is revealed that the elderly parents have recently toured Asia. Cut to close-up of a young man with backpack on a mission to rent a 1965 Johnny Cash movie. In series of quick close-ups, Dwight searches shelves and catalogues and finds it may be possible to order a print. From out-of-frame, the backpacker announces he’s found another long-sought treasure: Russ Meyer’s Bosomania. Dissolve to Movie Museum master as he makes a final cameo for the day before he heads into the theater to run the projector: "If movies are like children, sometimes there’s nothing like that moment when one of them is reunited with its rightful parent. We aim to make people happy here." Fade to black, but only momentarily. The reunions continue with endless sequels at the Movie Museum.

Movie Museum
(808) 735-8771