Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The site of the Jurassic Park Gate

One sad thing about the Jurassic Park production in Kauai was the unfortunate timing. Friday, September 11, 1992, almost all the scenes they needed to shoot on the island were complete, except for a backdrop scene for the Galimimus scene. It was that day the Hurricane Iniki struck Kauai with winds form 165-180MP/h. Predicted to be a force 5 hurricane, the worst to hit Kauai in the century.

The massive hurricane destroyed all the facades in Kauai, the Jurassic Park gate, the Visitor Center, Raptor pen, etc. etc. It was just lucky that Spielberg enforced a tight production schedule and had all the vital scenes done by then. For us fans, this means we don't get to see these sites beyond what was captured in production images and footage. 

(image: Jurassic Park Gate today)

An interesting story came out of this though, the crew of Jurassic Park was holed up in a hotel in Kauai while the hurricane blazed around them, they were scheduled to fly out the next day, but that obviously wasn't going to happen. Their chartered jet was directed to stay far away from the island. By 3PM they were all in the Hotel ballroom, power was out, and the sound of wind and rain blasted around outside. The hotel lost it's roof, and after 7 and a half hours of waiting, the guests were finally allowed to go back to their rooms. 

The following morning, Spielberg said, "Iniki had gone through Kauai like the big bad wolf at the house made of straw. Every single structure was in shambles; roofs and walls were torn away; telephone poles and trees were down as far as the eye could see. It was the worst devastation i had ever personally witnessed."

Producer Kathy Kennedy made a run to the airport, finding that it was mostly closed down, the air control tower having been destroyed. She brought this news back to the folks at the hotel.

"By that time, our crew had helped in getting some of the roads cleared. they had also been able to hook up the electricity because we had oru own generators. Four of us went back to the airport in a little jeep. When we got there, we say that they had set up a makeshift tower, and some military planes and a little Piper Cub carrying some Salvation Army people had landed. I arranged to hitch a ride with the Piper Cub pilot when he flew back to Honolulu so I could tyr to track down the studio jet we'd called before the storm hit. When i got to Honolulu, i found the jet-but I still didn't know how we were going to get it into Kauai, because the airport there was still restricted to military transport only."

While making arrangements with Hawaiian Airlines, Kennedy was astounded when she found help for a surprising source. 

"A guy came up to me and said, 'Do you know who I am?' And I said, 'No.' And he said, 'Does the line "That's my pet snake Reggie," mean anything to you?' It was the pilot from The raiders of the Lost Ark! I couldn't believe it, he had been flying a DC-3 in and out of Kauai, loaded with medical personnel and supplies. So he and i worked out a plan with the National Guard-we would fly to Kauai with doctors and nurses on the studio jet and with medical supplies on a Hawaiian Airlines DC-8, and we'd get the crew out on those jets. And that's what we did. Everybody was out within forty-eight hours after the storm, and we lost only one day of shooting." 

The day they lost they were able to make up in Oahu, a minor setback compared to what could have happened.

-Story was paraphrased and direct Quotes were taken form The Making of Jurassic Park  by Don Shay and Jody Dungan.   


  1. oh man that poor gate

    i'll just leave this support here


  2. Man... Blast from the past. I remember when JP first came out, I got As on my like... 1st grade report card or something. My super catholic family let me see a man get eaten while he was pooping.

    Best report card ever.

  3. nice post bro;)
    i like it;)
    supportin & following you;)

  4. do what u want couse a pirate is free!You're a Pirate!!
    cool!suppin bro :)
    check both my blogs are interesting! ;)

  5. Great blog, man!

    Hope you`ll check out mine as well.