Annual Sunset on the Beach Features ’80s Vibe, ‘New Faces’


Jacqueline Yoshimura

The only fan-made banners in sight happened to feature Alex’s name on it.

For a moment, it felt like the ’80s again on Sunday in Waikiki as fans gathered at Queen’s Beach for “Sunset on the Beach,” which was rescheduled from Friday due to Tropical Storm Olivia.

The event featured the Season 9 premiere of the CBS series “Hawaii Five-O.” Titled “Cocoon,” the episode is a redo of the original pilot written by the late Leonard Freeman, creator of the 1968 series of “Hawaii Five-O.” In addition to the premiere, CBS celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first “Hawaii Five-O,” which aired in 1968 and lasted 12 seasons until its last episode in 1980.

To add to the excitement, fans were also given a premiere of the new “Magnum P.I.” reboot. The show first aired in 1980 and ran for a total of eight seasons before its final episode in 1988.

“I’m so excited to watch both of them,” Honolulu resident Alyssa Kwan, 30, said. “It’ll be cool to see new faces. And I know the new ‘Magnum P.I.’ is going to be good since it’s the same executive producer as ‘Hawaii Five-O’ running it.”

In spirit of the ’80s, the event also featured a concert by celebrity singer Cyndi Lauper, who guest starred as an attorney in the new reboot of “Magnum P.I.”

Since 2001, thousands of visitors and locals alike have attended the annual family-friendly event to relax on the beach and watch free movies projected on a 30-foot screen. In 2016, an estimated 7,000 people attended, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The afternoon began with a red-carpet walk in which many fans waited hours in the sun with little breeze or shade for a chance to see their favorite stars from the shows.

“My family got here at 11:30 a.m.,” Jordan Duarte, 21, from Wailuku, Maui, said. “My parents just flew in two days ago from Maui, but me and my dad think my mom secretly planned this out even though she said she only found out about it [Saturday]. I know she really loves ‘Hawaii Five-O’ and Cyndi Lauper.”

Many of the cast made an appearance, such as “Hawaii Five-O’s” Alex O’Loughlin (Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett), Chi McBride (Captain Lou Grove), Meaghan Rath (Tani Rey), Ian Anthony Dale (Adam Noshimuri) and Jorge Garcia (Jerry Ortega), and “Magnum P.I.’s” Jay Hernandez (Thomas Magnum), Zachary Knighton (Rick Wright) and Perdita Weeks (Juliet Higgins).

O’Loughlin, the lead Australian actor of “Hawaii Five-O,” appeared to be the crowd favorite considering the level of cheering as he made his way down the carpet with wife, surfer Malia Jones. Moreover, the only giant fan-made banner to make an appearance at the event just so happened to feature the actor’s name on it.

After the ceremony came the moment many had been waiting for, a special performance by ’80s singer Cyndi Lauper. Lauper opened with “True Colors” and transitioned into “Time After Time,” keeping it mostly familiar as she played her dulcimer. She then surprised the crowd by closing with a unique ukulele rendition of her hit pop song “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”

“It’s good to see Cindy performing still after all these years, she looked great,” said Chris Reed, 51, from Spring Branch, Texas. “I thought she really honored the islands with ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.’ It was a very creative and unique performance that you probably won’t see again.”

“Sunset on the Beach” is an event attributed to former Mayor of Honolulu, Jeremy Harris, who sought to increase community activities and the local Waikiki economy.

“Hawaii Five-O” will start its ninth season on Sept. 28 and the official reboot of “Magnum P.I.” will air on Sept. 24. Both shows air on CBS.