Entries in the 'Palm Springs' Category

January 9, 2006

Montclair: Mission Tiki Drive-In 50th Anniversary Bash

Filed under: Events,Los Angeles,News,Palm Springs,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 3:16 am

The Mission Tiki Drive-In has announced plans for a party to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the drive-in. There had been tentative plans for an April party to celebrate the drive-in’s Grand (Re-)Opening as a newly-tikified joint, but it was decided to move the event back to August and make it an anniversary party instead. It’s scheduled for Saturday, August 5, and plans include bands, b-movies, a car show and vendors. As noted in a previous Humu Kon Tiki post, the organizers are the same folks responsible for the annual Drive Invasion at the Starlight Drive-In in Atlanta, which is a major event there. The Mission Tiki is between Los Angeles and Palm Springs, in Montclair.

December 16, 2005

Tiki Oasis 6 Heads to San Diego

Filed under: Events,News,Palm Springs,San Diego,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 4:55 pm
Postcard from Bali Hai, from the collection of Mimi Payne
Postcard from Bali Hai, from the collection of Mimi Payne

As previously reported on Humu Kon Tiki, Tiki Oasis 6 will not be held in Palm Springs, as the management at the once-tiki-friendly Caliente Tropics has gone sour. Today, Otto von Stroheim announced that Tiki Oasis 6 will be held in San Diego, from May 4-7, 2006.

San Diego has Palm Springs beat on a few counts, most notably in the amount of tiki destinations. San Diego has the Bali Hai restaurant (pictured above in a vintage postcard from the collection of Mimi Payne), Humphrey’s Half-Moon Inn and Trader Mort’s all on Shelter Island, and the Hanalei Hotel with its Islands Restaurants, one of my favorites. Last year saw the opening of the new Mr. Tiki’s in the Gaslamp district, and some home tours are part of the plans, as well. Otto did not mention the specific hotel, pending final confirmation from them, but he did say that Tiki Oasis will be taking place on Shelter Island, home to Humphrey’s and several other hotels. I’ve stayed at Humphrey’s before, and it has much in common with the Caliente Tropics — rooms on two stories facing a central pool/grass lawn area, upscale resort feel with a similar price point to the Caliente — but it also has a built-in stage area, where a summer concert series is held. It would be a great venue, though there are probably several hotels on Shelter Island that can also fit the bill nicely.

It will be exciting to see what the new Tiki Oasis will be like, I imagine the new setting has got Otto thinking of some fresh ideas for the event. But the best news of all is that it’s going to be more tiki, if only because of the host city.

October 30, 2005

Tiki Oasis 6 Coming in May, But Not to Palm Springs

Filed under: Events,News,Palm Springs,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:07 am
Room 135 Party, Tiki Oasis 2004
Room 135 Party, Tiki Oasis 2004

A definite good news/bad news situation. Make that fantastic news: happily, Otto von Stroheim has announced that the Tiki Oasis event will be taking place next year. Tiki Oasis is a huge annual tiki celebration, drawing hundreds from around the world. A formal announcement would have traditionally come much earlier in the year; the idea that it might not happen next year was making some folks quite concerned. Otto has pegged the weekend of May 7 as the tentative date.

Now the bummer: it won’t be taking place at the Caliente Tropics. There was a management change at the Caliente Tropics earlier this year, and Casey Jones is no longer part of the Caliente Tropics team. The new management doesn’t share Casey’s concern for preserving this piece of tiki history, and apparently they have no interest in attracting the tiki community as customers. According to Otto, “The new management openly scoffed at previous managements plans to improve the Tiki decor and court the Tiki audience.” Here’s more of what Otto had to say:

Pete Moruzzi, Sven [Kirsten], and I started the Tiki Oasis event as a fundraiser to support the previous owners who had bought the hotel and renovated it and saved it from getting leveled like the Kon Tiki in Phoenix. The event not only gave the hotel a boost in the arm for one weekend, it raised national and international awareness of the hotels existence resulting in increased vacationers year-round. In return the previous management supported Tiki fans and other Tiki events. (Thanks Casey!) Since the owners and management of the tropics hotel are no longer the type of people we can support we can no longer continue to have our event there. We regret having to pull support from the tropics hotel itself but we feel it is only a matter of time before the owners either run it into the ground or renovate in an effort to increase profits. Therefore we cannot support the future demise of the tropics.

I’m certainly sad, though not surprised to hear of this turn of events. But now, the fun part — speculating on where Tiki Oasis is going to happen.

August 31, 2005

Mission Tiki: A New Tiki Drive-In

Filed under: Los Angeles,Palm Springs,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 3:16 pm

Mission Tiki, a tiki-themed drive-in, is being developed in Montclair, California. Mission Tiki is the remodelling of a drive-in that opened in 1956, the Mission Drive-in at 10798 Ramona Ave (the corner of Mission & Ramona). It’s being developed by De Anza, the same folks responsible for the immensely popular Starlight Drive-in in Atlanta, Georgia. De Anza’s Teri Oldknow says that she hopes to get the same sort of special events going at Mission Tiki that have become an institution at Starlight, where movies are just part of the attraction, including car shows and flea markets. De Anza has turned to one of my very favorite tiki artists, Tiki Diablo, to outfit the Mission Tiki.

Tiki Trader Joe’s

Filed under: Los Angeles,Monterey & Big Sur,Palm Springs,San Francisco,Tiki,Tucson — Humuhumu @ 2:30 pm

Trader Joe’s may share the “bringing you the best from around the world” M. O. with Trader Vic’s, but historically that has been the end of the connection to tiki. However, more and more Trader Joe’s are going tiki in their decor; locations that have been reported to have tikis include the Pasadena location on Rosemead Blvd, a Tucson location, San Luis Obispo on Higuera St., Cathedral City, Daly City, Santa Cruz, Irvine, Rancho Santa Margarita, Cerritos and Manhattan Beach. These locations all appear to have added their tikis within just the past couple of years, and even more exciting, they’re turning to artists local to each store, using art from their own community.


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Humuhumu is the creator of several tiki websites. She is a designer and programmer based out of San Francisco.

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