The complete Don Ho collection housed at UH-West Oahu
If there is one person that for decades represented Hawaii – it was singer Don Ho. And now, a remarkable film collection belonging to the late entertainer is being preserved and will eventually be online for all to see.
The Don Tai Loy Ho Trust recently handed over the late entertainer’s media collection, which will be housed at the 'Ulu'ulu moving image archive of Hawaii at UH-West Oahu. The collection: some 150 boxes that had been stored for years.
The 11,000 square foot building contains collections from local TV stations, filmmakers, families and trusts.
Those who donate the precious artifacts agree they can be made public for people to watch or use for educational and research reasons.
The ‘Ulu'Ulu staff stabilize and clean the median before making the electronic copies. 'Ulu'ulu received the collection in September. It brings back memories for Chris Lee, the founder and director of the UH Academy for Creative System Media. He worked for Ho at the Polynesian Palace.
“It was my first job in entertainment,” said Lee. “I ran the spotlight, set up the stage, everything, so it’s a great honor and we really appreciate the trust of the Trust and the family in having the collection here.”
What they got was a lot more than just Don Ho singing.
“He kept everything, even if it was something you couldn’t purchase. He recorded it himself with his own equipment. I think he was fascinated with the media himself. He wasn’t just in front of the camera. He was very much behind the camera, and we’re so luck he did so,” said Lee.
The 'Ulu'ulu favorite so far? Ho arriving in a flying grass hut in the Singer Presents Hawaii-Ho!
“They were really inventive, and he really knew how to make a star entrance,” said Lee.
The original material will be housed in a 2,000 square foot climate and humidity controlled archive. Click here for more information.