WAIKIKI -- Thousands of tourists and residents, armed with Royal
Hawaiian hot dogs, pizza or a plate of vegetables and fish, sprawl
on blankets, beach chairs and straw mats to mingle and watch a film
on a 30-foot movie screen on a Waikiki beach.
It's a scene that's been going on every Saturday and Sunday
night for more than a year -- ever since the Waikiki City Council
launched the Sunset on the Beach program following Sept. 11,
But it's a scene that soon may go unseen.
The program, which by all counts was a success from the start --
drawing about 7,000 on an average night and as many as 30,000
people in one night -- faces an uncertain future.
The Waikiki City Council, which has sponsored the program every
weekend since it began, is facing budget cuts and can only foot the
bill for one weekend per month through June.
The other weekends are being picked up by the private sector.
Aston Hotels & Resorts Hawaii and Outrigger Hotels &
Resorts, for example, have contributed $10,000 per weekend to
continue the program.
Still, Sunset on the Beach "probably won't run every weekend,"
said Rick Egged, president of the Waikiki Improvement
"I'm optimistic that it will continue on a fairly regular
schedule," he said. "The city is working now to line up
But much of the calendar still remains open, and Egged declined
to speculate what would happen when the city's budget for the event
is depleted in June. He and other officials are diligently trying
to solve the problem before then.
For more details on Sunset on the Beach, call (808)