Dearth of details leave Kahala Mall moviegoers in the dark
LESSON ONE on how to frustrate a reporter. Release a two-sentence statement indicating your long-closed facility will reopen before the end of the year and that construction will begin in three to four weeks.
And then say no more -- to anyone.
That was the plan of attack for Consolidated Theatres' parent company Monday in making its long-awaited announcement that its Kahala 8 theaters, closed since a March 31 flood, would be reopening.
The company hired a local publicist for the task, but she got the same information as everyone else. In other words, not much.
"We don't have any kind of schedule for construction or reopening," said Ron Yoda, Kahala Mall's general manager. The interior demolition work is complete, he said.
It was either the worst case of issuing a media statement ever, or the most brilliant -- depending on one's perspective.
The company's timing was even top-notch, or incredibly unfortunate.
Yoda was off-island Monday and could not be reached for comment until yesterday. He was not aware a statement about Kahala 8 would be made during his absence.
Consolidated's local publicist had not been given the name of any contractors and no building permits for rebuilding the theaters were on record yesterday with the city's online building permit database.
The only reference to Consolidated Theatres' location in the city's database for Kahala Mall building permits dates back to 1986. There are no references to parent company Pacific Theatres Corp. or to the theater space, but Yoda explained that not all types of demolition work require a building permit.
The irony in searching through the permit applications for spaces within Kahala Mall was that they were described as on the "flood fringe" or not in a flood zone.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org