I am looking at your website at http://stevestoursandfilms.vpweb.com/ and I love it!
You relocated to Hawaii in
1994. . . . Had you lived there before?
It was June of 1994 that I
landed in Hawaii. After living in Santa Monica, and working in the film industry for 15 years, I relocated to Maui.
Currently, I reside in the Hawaii Kai area of Honolulu, on the island of Oahu.
You found “hundreds
of 16mm films that a local library had thrown away.” Were they of different
genres or . . . ?
Most of the films that I found
were 16mm educational films, i.e. driving instruction, medical, serious subjects, college level.
Are these films among the
750 films that you make available for programs at http://stevestoursandfilms.vpweb.com/TheFilms.html?
No. All of the library
films have been sold, traded or destroyed.
Do you ever make them available
for individual purchase because Maven is quite taken with Charlie Chan in Chinatown!!
The films are not available
for purchase. This is a privately-held collection.
Do you show them to friends,
audiences and/or anybody else who loves old movies?!?
As a film lecturer, I am available
for hire. At an appropriate location, I set up a 16mm movie projector and screen. Working with the client, we
create a make-shift movie theater area. With the guests, we watch and discuss the movies I am hired to show.
What kind of people show
up for these films?
People of Hawaii are curious
about their image as presented on film. Over the years, I have been hired by libraries, museums, schools, senior residences,
and for private parties.
What kind of reaction do
“Chicken Skin!!!" A
thrilling experience. People are amazed at the images in the old movies. As the owner of the rarest collections of old-Hawaii
films, people have not seen these films in many years.
You mention Glen Grant, who
created the Honolulu Ghost Walks, and a “haunted movie tour of Oahu.” Would
you consider working on this in book or some other venue for tourists? Those of us who can’t get over to Hawaii
are curious about your tours.
A book, based on my film
collection, is in the works.
Could you tell us how the
ideas for your tours got started?
About three years ago, I answered
an ad to be a ghost tour guide. After fulfilling my contract, I left the company and formed my own tour company.
Charlie Chan Mystery Tour involves finding the Chinese Detective over a four hour hunt that winds through the same sites
frequented by Chang Apana, Earl Derr Biggers and The Black Camel (1931) cast and
crew. . . . How much research did you have to do to find all the locations for
what amounts to a two-mile hike?!
Lots of digging through old
files. Years and years. My Charlie Chan/Chang Apana research continues as we conduct this interview. I'm
always finding some new and exciting item to add to my tours.
did you come across the coffee shops, gambling houses, movie houses and (what Maven would want to check out first!) Number
One Son’s Residence?!
A lot of very detailed research
went into finding these Chan-related locations. I read many old newspapers and interviewed many senior citizens of Honolulu.
Charlie Chan: When did you discover Hawaii’s Number One Chinese Detective? Were his movies among the 16mm films you found or did you discover him through television
and/or the books by Earl Derr Biggers?
Like so many "baby-boomer"
kids, I discovered the Charlie Chan movies on television in the mid-1960s. In my memorabilia collection, I own an original
Chan comic book, which I purchased in 1965.
you have a preference as to the actors who played Charlie Chan in Hollywood?! And
the actors who played his children in the series?!
My favorite Chan acting team
is Sidney Toler and Victor Sen Yung. I like the enthusiasm that Yung brings to his role. I love horror and mystery
films, especially those movies made during the 1940s. In my opinion, these films are well-crafted, tightly-budgeted
masterpieces. I like the atmosphere and quick pacing of films from this period. Of the three
major actors that portrayed Charlie Chan, Warner Oland is the most believable as the character. Hands down, Oland is
people in Hawaii today familiar with Chang Apana, the novels of Earl Derr Biggers and the films of Charlie Chan?
If you are hip to Charlie
Chan, you are hip to Chang Apana. In my opinion, these characters go hand-in-hand. On Oahu, there is a small group
of South Pacific cinema fans who are familiar with Charlie Chan, Earl Derr Biggers, and Chang Apana.
there any resentment about Charlie Chan being played by Caucasian actors?
In Hawaii, this is a sensitive topic
among the local Asian community. There is great awareness about the past Caucasian actors who have portrayed Charlie
Chan in the movies.
very interested in The Hawai’i Wartime History Tour. . . . Maven has background
at http://tommenterprises.tripod.com/id59.html. Most of us on the mainland have no idea what went on AFTER the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7,
1941. How did you get the idea for this tour?
When I worked for the State
of Hawaii, I spent my lunch hour reading Honolulu newspapers from World War Two. It took me about three years to read
the newspapers from December 1941 to December 1945. I created my own index related to wartime entertainment and local
lifestyle during the martial law years in Hawaii. I find the war years in Hawaii a fascinating time period. Everybody
who lived here, at that time, was affect by the military taking over the Territorial government. Local people lost their everyday
rights. It was an intense period in Hawaii history.
you interview people who were living in Hawaii at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7,1941? Did you find
these sites by plain old-fashioned research?
Both. During the past
few years, I have interviewed elderly local people who were children during the war years in Hawaii. A child's
point of view about martial law is different from an adult's point of view. Through my interviews, I have discovered
that it was more of an adventure for children during World War Two.
last . . . and not least to Maven’s mind! . . . is The Honolulu Ghost Tour! Is
this a carry-over from Glen Grant’s Honolulu Ghost Walks or is it entirely your tour?
Uncle Steve's Honolulu Ghost
Tour is an original creation. Glen Grant was the best of the ghost story-tellers in Honolulu. Before his passing,
I attended one of his mystery tours. I did not have the opportunity to take Glen's ghost tour.
tour includes “haunted sites and mystical places in downtown Honolulu and Chinatown” – From Iolani Palace
to office buildings and a rest stop at a haunted bar. . . . How did you find
out about these places and/or how did you select which places to cover?
When I tell people that I
am a ghost tour guide, they open up to me. I hear many Hawaii-related ghost stories. Research, research, and more
research. On my Honolulu Ghost Tour, I tell ghost stories related to the Hawaiian culture.
a special treat for Halloween, 2009 . . . THE “WALK WITH THE DEAD” GHOST TOUR ! ! ! . . . . How did this tour come about? Was it a natural progression
from the Honolulu Ghost Tour?!
My tours keep evolving.
On my Honolulu Ghost Tour, I tell three kinds of ghost stories. First, I tell fun ghost stories about playful spirits.
Followed by ghost stories about curious spirits. Then, I tell the "blood and gut" "Jack-the-Ripper" type of ghost
stories. I do not accept children on my ghost tours. Some the stories are too intense for them. For the
"Walk With the Dead" tour, I don't hold anything back. This tour is for adults only. I tell every mad, insane
story about Honolulu haunted sites that I can think of.
is there anything that Maven hasn’t covered that you would like to add?
I take a lot of pride in my
tours and film programs. I have taken legal action to protect all areas of my business. When in Honolulu, please
look me up. I'll be happy to take you on a tour of old Hawaii. After taking one of my tours, you'll never look
at Chinatown, and Honolulu, in the same way again. Aloha.
for your time, effort and a great website at http://www.stevestourandfilms.vpweb.com/! Maven