Ala Moana Center to celebrate milestone 50 years in Hawai‘i on August 13, 2009

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Ala Moana Center, one of the world’s largest outdoor shopping centers and Hawai‘i’s premier shopping destination, will celebrate its landmark 50th anniversary on Thursday, August 13, 2009.

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Ala Moana Center, one of the world’s largest outdoor shopping centers and Hawai‘i’s premier shopping destination, will celebrate its landmark 50th anniversary on Thursday, August 13, 2009. Spanning five decades from the first days of statehood to modern day Hawai‘i, this milestone marks how Ala Moana Center has served both residents and visitors alike as the Hawaiian Islands’ most highly revered gathering place to shop, dine and be entertained.

Ala Moana Center will present a two-and-a-half-week celebration commencing on August 13 to feature a myriad of 50th anniversary themed special events and sales and promotions for customers to participate in and enjoy.

“Ala Moana Center’s 50th anniversary will be a one-of-a-kind celebration as we commemorate the milestone of serving Hawai‘i and the Pacific as a preeminent leader in retail and fashion for five decades,” said Sharon James, regional vice president of marketing for General Growth Properties. “Ala Moana Center has grown significantly throughout the years, and we credit the loyalty of our customers, owners, retailers, and employees on achieving the status of being one of the most successful shopping destinations in the U.S.”

The Center’s 50th anniversary festivities kick off on August 13 with a special birthday celebration at Centerstage featuring a traditional Hawaiian blessing and an honorarium ceremony to congratulate the Center’s remaining 11 original businesses and employees who also will be celebrating their 50th anniversary at the Center.

After the ceremony, the celebration extends to the center’s 290 retailers with 50th anniversary sales, special offers, gift-with-purchase promotions, in-store events, commemorative 50th anniversary products, and key retailer-presented events taking place in the stores and at Centerstage. These offers and in-store events will span through August 31 with a variety of opportunities for customers to experience Ala Moana Center’s outstanding merchants.

Ala Moana’s Centerstage has been a key element in Hawai‘i entertainment and culture for 50 years featuring approximately 20,000 acts over the decades. Over the course of Ala Moana Center’s two-and-a-half week anniversary celebration, 50 performances by past performers will take place at Centerstage including local hula hālau, community groups, and mainland and international acts. Most notably, Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning musicians Hoku Zuttermeister, Ho‘okena and Darren Benitez will perform to celebrate the return of top entertainers to Centerstage and highlight Hawai‘i’s favorite music through the decades.

In conjunction with the 50th anniversary celebration, Ala Moana Center and Hawai‘i Fashion Incubator will present “Fifty Years of Fashion in Hawai‘i,” an exhibition featuring garments from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa’s impressive archived Costume Collection. The exhibition, featuring 50 garments from the past 50 years, will be the largest showcase of the collection ever shown outside of the university. Special feature displays include swimwear, aloha attire, and era-inspired fashion wear. Current fashions inspired by past eras, archived fashion magazines and notable Ala Moana Center advertisements will also be on display.

Local and visiting guests interested bringing home a free collector’s keepsake can visit Ala Moana Center’s U.S. Post Office from August 13-31 for an exclusive 50th anniversary cancellation stamp. Any mail item can be imprinted with the special cancellation stamp, and Ala Moana’s Customer Service Center will offer a commemorative envelope for use with the cancellation stamp. The U.S. Post Office will have a table at Centerstage on August 13, making it extra convenient for shoppers to pick up their Ala Moana Center special first-day issuance cancellation stamp.

When Ala Moana Center originally opened on August 13, 1959, it was the largest shopping center in the U.S., featuring just over 860,000 square feet of retail space and more than 80 merchants. Through the decades, this iconic shopping center has gone though a number of transformations with major renovation and expansion projects that have increased its gross leasable area by almost 2.5 times its original size. After the completion of its sixth major expansion in March 2008, the center now boasts over 2.1 million square feet of retail and more than 290 stores and restaurants. It ranks as the world’s largest outdoor shopping center and consistently places among the top three highest grossing malls in the U.S.

For more information on Ala Moana Center’s 50th anniversary event and shopping specials, please visit

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.