The Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale is my favorite place on Earth. It’s far beyond words. Knowing the owners only makes me love it more. If you don’t know about the Mai Kai, look at my page HERE for a little information.
As part of my love for the place I started work on a Mai Kai fan site a while back. If I had more time, it would be done by now, but, you know how that goes. I have managed to get images of every vintage postcard the Mai Kai produced (as far as anyone can tell me.) So, here is that sampling of the Mai Kai ephemera catalog.
Early card showing the cannibal trio of tikis on the sign.
Perhaps the earliest photo card. The coverig for the valet area is not there yet. Look how few trees are around. It really was out in the middle of nowhere.
A slightly later image, now showing the covered valet area. These two are some of the most common pastcards.
Another early photo card.
Early interior shot.
This was the bar before the renovation in the 1970s that created the Molokai Lounge. I am told it was really an incredible room and this single image does it no justice. There was some sort of mural that I am told was incredible.
I assume this is an early card just because it is linen. Linen postcards went out of style a long time ago in favor of chrome. I think this is likely where the garden area is now.
This is perhaps the oldest card. It seems to be an architectural drawing of the Mai Kai, done perhaps before they opened in 1956.
The famous iconic Mystery Drink Lady. This piece of Polynesian Pop was invented by the Mai Kai.
A classic luau scene at the Mai Kai.
The friendly wait staff of the Mai Kai.
The pouring of the Flaming Coffee Grog.
This is a little later than the second card above. The covered valet area is there now.
This is also perhaps a very early card from before they opened showing an architectural rendering of the Mai Kai.
The coasters on the bar and the style of the Rum Barrel tell that this is a very early image. Likely 1950s, maybe early 1960s.
Here is his counterpart. I think this card is dated 1963. I know that’s got to be a wig, but, wow, what hair! The picture is taken in exactly the same spot as the one above. It could be the same photo shoot which would make the above image not 1950s.
An exterior shot from the road. This tiki is still there in front of Bora Bora. My guess is that this is from the mid 1970s, but I am not sure.
A wider shot of the with the same tiki. You can see the city now coming to meet the Mai Kai. The car is early 70s. I think this is an image after the remodel that added to the Mai Kai in the 1970s.
The first of a trio of paintings of the Mai Kai that were made into postcards.
A long picture card.
A linen card of the Molokai Lounge. That means it came out in the 1970s, but the style is old. Maybe this is also an architectural image of an uncompleted lounge, before it was opened.
The performers of the Mai Kai. I think this is from the 1970s as well.
I think these are interior images from before the renovations.
I think this is a later shot. Maybe 1970s.
This shows the room that would become the gift shop after the remodel. I think it is from the early 1970s.
A recent postcard.
I think it is all of them. If you have any not here, please send me images of them.
If you have not been to the Mai Kai, you need to put it on the top of your to-do list and think about coming down in a month to Hukilau when it will be filled with enthusiasts from around the world. It is truly greater than any description can give.
UPDATE: Another new one found.