Wood Craft

By Ben Wood

Saturday, May 22, 1999

New theaters lift
the curtain

With "Phantom Menace" fans camped outside, more than 1,500 guests crowded into the lobby of Signature's Dole Cannery 18-screen, state-of-the-art theater complex Tuesday eve to check the place out, gobble Sam Choy's food and gulp wine. Signature Prez Phil Harris flew in from Oakland for the opening, hosted several hours before "Menace" opened at a minute past midnight. He said the complex cost $20 million. When someone mentioned free tickets for "Menace," Harris made it clear that's a no-no and said he had to buy 60 tickets for arriving mainland friends. A San Francisco architect originally from Wahiawa, Daniel Uesugi, a '52 Leileihua grad, and his daughter, Erin, designed the complex. Bob Zacha is manager.

Mug shot Choy and partner James Lee supervised their large staff at the opening. Sam was beaming as he shot a 72 on the Big Isle's Makalei golf course days ago. "I was looking around to see if I was on (the pro) tour," said Sam, whose best is a 69 years ago at Kuilima ...

Consolidated opens Koolau

Kapena entertained Monday at Consolidated Amusement's opening of its 10-screen complex at Koolau Shopping Center. A feature was shown on each screen for the 600 guests. The $1 movie-ticket day on Tuesday -- a sellout in all 10 theaters -- and the $1 charge for food and drink items that runs through tomorrow, benefit Ahuimanu Elementary library. Consolidated supports literacy programs ...

A dinner Christian and Sally Aall purchased at an Academy of Arts benefit took place Wednesday at voice teacher Neva Rego's home. "An Evening in Venice" began with champagne and harp, flute and guitar music. Nick Sayada of Strawberry Connection prepared dinner. Melissa Short, Sharon Spinetti and Los Ceballos, with Beebe Freitas at the piano, sang opera. Spinetti, who had the title role in "Norma" here, flew in to join the package created by Mariann Tesauro ...

N.Y. lawyer Richard Ortoli was the main course in a dinner at Jany Cataldo's home which benefited Holy Nativity School. Ortoli knocked the nine diners out with jokes in various accents and even sang tenor. Cataldo, Amanda Abe and Don Eovino purchased the dinner, prepared by Kahala Caterers, at a school fund-raiser ... Queen Tuanku Najihah of Malaysia scored a hole-in-one on the 65-yard 12th hole at Manele recently. She played with King Ja'Afar Twanku ... Cynthia Child, who runs a golf tour biz, fired her first hole-in-one recently at Ewa Villages. Cynthia used a pitching wedge on the 84-yard No. 2 hole ...

Live auction items, including a chance to ride in a two-seat Champ Car with Mario Andretti during the Hawaiian Super Prix Weekend, will be offered at the Black Tie & Blue Jeans Heart Association benefit blast June 5 at the Hilton Coral Ballroom. Food, entertainment, a casino by Tihati and dancing are included in the $75 ticket; call 538-7021 ...

Cheers for the Masinis

Hawaii owes Al and April Masini a big thanks for all they do. Their latest endeavor, "Star Search" at the Convention Center, will give the isle economy and tourism a shot in the arm while helping the Convention Center, which hungers for business ... Former students of UH voice professor Richard Vine, who died May 6 in Wisconsin at age 85, are gathering at the Prince Kuhio piano bar with Jimmy Kaina Monday night ... Ron Bright receives a lifetime achievement award at the Alliance Awards next Saturday at the Hawaii Theatre. ...

Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin in the streets
of downtown Honolulu during World War II, writes of
people, places and things every Saturday.
His columns appear online every Monday.

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