"The most popular place for locals to end up in Waikiki (in the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s) was the famous Waikiki Theater. It had a special allure as a place where you could enjoy a good movie, admire the attractive usherettes, and in addition, be entertained with familiar melodies by the organist Ed Sawtell. … We former Waikiki Theater usherettes remember vividly that the first thing we were required to do upon being hired was to memorize the alphabet backwards (so as to lead people to their seats in the alphabetized rows). We were issued standard uniforms, had evening lineups for inspection, and were given specific assignments. Every night, Ruby, the lei seller across the street, would provide us with flowers for our hair.

As you entered the foyer of the theater, you were greeted and assigned to an usher by our ‘Center Spot,’ an usherette dressed in a black costume with red malo, orange feather lei, a beautiful gold flowing cape of black and gold and a headdress (replica of one worn by King Kamehameha). The theater invariably had a sellout every Friday night at its ‘First Vue.’ If you were a regular at the ‘First Vue,’ which started at 10:15 p.m., you remember how hectic it was trying to clear the foyer. But we always managed to seat sometimes as many as five couples at a time by placing their tickets in between our fingers (which took a lot of practice) as we escorted them to their seats.”

Loretta Lee Kahele and Loretta Bauman Keanu from Honolulu Advertiser, Feb. 20, 2000