South Pacific Hollandale Florida Video

An interesting bit about the history of one of the Mai-Kai’s rivals, the South Pacific in Hollandale Florida. None of the people I interviewed considered this place, or any other Polynesian restaurant in the area, as a true rival. Like Western Sizzler is a rival of Ruth’s Chris. The Mai-Kai was far and away in a class by itself. But with 50-60 years of perspective, we heap them together.

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It is interesting to me to see how many of the performers were also working at the Mai-Kai before or after their Hollandale gigs.

Lundy Nelson is first as he was band leader at the Yankee Clipper Polynesian Room and at the Mai-Kai and here as well. He was at the Mai-Kai for 17 years. It was his sister Elana who helped train Mireille Thornton as a choreographer and taught her Hawaiian dance. I created a little video of a track for his band the Tahitian Aires album:

Tiki Central South Pacific post here.

Also of note is the fire-knife dancer Chief Faalia who was one of the first at the Mai-Kai. He performed all over the country and is an avid collector. He is collecting mugs, menus and postcards from places he actually visited and performed!

Faalia at the Mai-Kai. Note carving behind him is at the Mai-Kai today.

Faalia at the Mai-Kai. Note carving behind him is at the Mai-Kai today.

The Honeymoon Bowl from the South Pacific gave me fits trying to find it. Go to eBay and search for “Fish Bowl” and see what you get! I finally found one at Hukilau. I have seen it marked “South Pacific” but most are unmarked.

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There were countless Polynesian places in Florida in the 1960s. None matched the Mai-Kai and few survive today.

1 thought on “South Pacific Hollandale Florida Video

  • Nice information.
    In the video of a track of the Tahitian Aires, at about :57-1:03 the gentleman in the background, where Lundy would normally stand, is George Hines(my dad). My father and I performed on Monday nights, which was Lundy’s night off.

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