Summer Movie Series At Camp Pālehua Starts June 4

When the lowlands got too hot, Hawaiian royalty would retreat to the cool uplands.

Now that it’s heating up on the ʻEwa Plain, Camp Pālehua is inviting the community up to their facility, 1,500 feet above Kapolei, to watch movies under the stars.

Summer Movie Nights will be select Tuesdays in June and July, from 6:30pm-9:30pm. Here’s the full schedule:

Tue., June 4: Coco

Tue., June 18: Aquaman

Tue., July 9: The Parent Trap (1998)

Tue., July 23: TBD (Viewers’ Choice)

Tickets ($5 each) are available on Eventbrite.

The gates will open at 6:30pm for each event. The event will start with a costume parade and contest, followed by the movie at 7:30pm.

Blankets, chairs, food, and refreshments are all bring-your-own — though you’ll be able to buy snacks if you don’t have enough.

Camp Pālehua: The Basics

Camp Pālehua, up in the hills west of Makakilo, is a private camp. But it’s much more public than it used to be. Under the leadership of the Gill family, which owns the land, and camp director Kawika Shook, the 85-year-old camp has a new conservation and public service mission.

The route to the camp begins at a gate at the tippy-top of Makakilo. From there a dirt road winds through hills and gullies to the camp parking lot. The road is narrow, but perfectly safe, with no big drop-offs. The Howzit Kapolei company car, a 2004 Hyundai Elantra, recently navigated it with no issues.

At 1,577 feet above sea level (according to Google Earth), Camp Pālehua is on what’s probably the highest patch of flat land on Oʻahu, other than the bog at the top of Mt. Kaʻala. Temperatures decrease approximately 3 degrees Fahrenheit for every 1,000 feet you climb, so a steamy 77-degree night would be a pleasant 72 at Pālehua.

Other Camp Pālehua Public Offerings

If movie watching is too sedentary for you, experience Camp Pālehua with guided hikes — daytime only, obviously. A per-person fee ($10/person and up, depending on the length of the hike) helps pay for the guide’s time, as well as upkeep of the trails.

  • Nānākuli Overlook Hike: A two-mile hike, not strenuous, that leads to views of the Nānākuli Valley. A guide shares moʻolelo of the area.
  • WWII Bunker Hike: This three-mile hike goes up to a bunker with views of the entire South Shore — from Diamondhead to Makaha.
  • Mauna Kapu: A hike up to this 2,776-foot peak.
  • Palikea Ridge Line: Along the ridge that leads to the peak of Palikea.

Some of the other activities include a visit to an archaeological site, planting native plants, and a low ropes course.

You can also rent facilities for an event, or stay the night at one of the camp’s buildings.

Contact camp staff for the latest fees and booking times.

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