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Ala Moana Should Go Super Social

Can you believe Ala Moana Center is turning 50 years old on Thursday, August 13, 2009? That’s even before Hawaii became a U.S. state!

As part of the mall’s 50th Anniversary, there are some planned events and celebrations including a photo contest where patrons can send in their favorite picture of Ala Moana from the past 5 decades. Selected photos will be displayed at the Centerstage area from August 13-31, and the winner will receive a $250 Ala Moana gift card.

I’m thinking Ala Moana should go super social with this photo contest and really capture the years of the mall. Why not invite shoppers to submit a massive photostream of their pictures online? I’d like to see and remember how Ala Moana has changed over the years, and I think the only way to document that is through pictures from the people. I’d like to see the comings and goings of stores and all the various construction projects the center has seen.

As is, I can barely remember the days of Liberty House, before the upscale shopping and dining of the third floor. I want to see pictures of the bird (or was it monkey) cage outside of Shirokiya. How about pictures of the original Farrells? What was there before the Apple Store? Wasn’t it some kind of luggage store?

It’d be really cool if all these user submitted pictures were organized and overlaid on an online map of the center where viewers could take a virtual stroll through its history in pictures. This would be very intensive to establish and maintain but just think of all the memories!

One other downer is that all the really good pictures would be of the developed type, not digital, making online uploading more bothersome. Too bad Ala Moana couldn’t set up a few kiosks throughout the mall where users could scan and upload their favorite pics.

Seeing all the pictures of old and new Ala Moana would definitely make people remember its place in Hawaii traditions.

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