‘Donovan’s Reef’ coming Saturday

LIHUE — Janice Bond’s father, Tooru Tamane, didn’t talk much about the war, but he did tell a story about being on set for the filming of “Donovan’s Reef” with John Wayne.

“He didn’t say much about the filming except that he played a Japanese soldier and there was a cannon in the dry caves, the ones going to Haena,” Bond said.

Saturday you can watch it on a big screen yet again at the Kauai Veterans Museum through the “A Night at the Museum” fundraiser.

The entire island was used for filming Donovan’s Reef in 1962. The Allerton Estate was used as the home of the French island governor and scenes of boats and canoes were shot on the Wailua River.

The main set for the production was near Ahukini Pier and Hanamaulu Beach.

Tamane, who has since passed, didn’t say anything else about the filming but was one of a cast of extras on Kauai.

Donovan’s Reef is an action comedy movie that follows the story of three U.S. Navy expatriates who land on Haleakaloha Island in French Polynesia and try to swindle a Miss Amelia Dedham out of an inheritance.

Alongside rousing scenes of birthday brawls in Donovan’s Reef — the local saloon owned by Wayne’s character, Donovan —the film tackles issues of greed and racism.

Admission is free. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the movie starting at 6:30.

Donations will be accepted at the door and food and drink will be available for purchase. Bring your own chairs or a blanket.

The Kauai Veterans Museum has been raising funds to pay for remodeling and restoration of the museum, which has undergone only slight changes since it was built about 25 years ago.

Termites have damaged many of the wooden display cases. The goal is to replace those with metal structures.

The museum also needs a temperature-controlled storage room to preserve artifacts, and organizers hope to start an education program.

Another goal is to remodel the museum to create more space for exhibits, and improve flow for visitors so it takes them through the decades of war and tells a story.

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