Old photos of Radisson Blu (SAS)

Post by Mark

sasopening

I have a friend who recently started working at the Radisson Blu Hotel and he found a bunch of old photo albums so he asked me if I would be interested in flipping through them since he knows I like old photos related to Kuwait. There were maybe 20 large albums with a lot of random stuff but I picked out photos that I thought were the most interesting or at least ones that I could relate to.

The photo on top is of the hotel on opening day. I had chosen other photos from that day for them to scan but I didn’t get them for some reason.

Second group of photos I found interesting is the installation of the Kugel. The Kugel is a large 4 ton marble sphere that floats on water and before the hotels recent refurbishment used to located in the lobby. Originally I thought the Kugel had been there ever since the hotel opened but turns out it was installed after the 1990 invasion. The Kugel now is no longer located in the lobby but instead outside near the Viking Club entrance.

The second batch of photos that caught my eye was the damage done to The Peacock Chinese restaurant during the 1990 invasion. I had seen photos of the hotel after the invasion but hadn’t seen photos of Peacock before. If you’ve never been to Peacock, here’s my review.

clock

Finally does anyone remember Clock? I couldn’t find a photo in their archives of the restaurant when it was open just the one above taken after the invasion. I was young when it first opened in the 80s but I think it was the first restaurant to offer drive through in Kuwait. I used to see the Clock sign when going down the Gulf Road near Bid’aa and as a kid I found the concept of drive through fascinating.


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Beautiful old photos of Ahmadi

Post by Mark

ahmadi

Found these photos in the @alahmadi_town instagram account. The one above is my favorite because of the fact it looks like it was taken in a small American town.


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Tons of old photos of Kuwait

Post by Mark

By accident I found this website full of photos from Kuwait dating back to the 1950s all the way to current times. The photos I’ve posted here are just some of my favorites, but you can check out all of them by clicking [Here]


Notice the photos on the wall?


Love the Dodge


Hippo loose in the zoo after the Iraqi invasion


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Q8 Awal, a collection of old Kuwait photos

Post by Mark

oldphoto

Q8 Awal is an instagram account with the sole purpose of collecting and sharing old photos and videos of Kuwait. There are a few out there that do the same but what I liked about Q8 Awal is that many of the photos I hadn’t seen before and also the fact that they don’t watermark the photos. Check them on instagram @q8_awal


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Photos of Old Cinescape Theaters

Post by Mark

oldcinescape

I managed to get my hands on some old photos of Cinescape (KNCC) movie theaters. Some of these photos were taken back when the theaters were still active while others were taken I am assuming before they were demolished. I wasn’t aware we had open air cinemas before, I knew of the open air drive-thru cinemas like the Ahmadi one but didn’t know we had seated open air cinemas. Must have been an interesting experience watching a movie outdoors in this heat.


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What is the Oldest Restaurant in Kuwait?

Post by Mark

Someone posted an interesting query in the Kuwestions section, what is the oldest restaurant in Kuwait? One reader suggested Mais Alghanim which is possible since its been active since 1953, but I’m curious if there is anything older that is still around and active?

The two photos here were taken from the Mais Alghanim photo gallery [Here]


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Printing Digital and Film Photos

Post by Mark

A few years ago I posted about my favorite place to print digital photos, Boushahri off of Baghdad Street in Salmiya. Since that post two things have happened, first they merged or got bought out (not sure which) by their old competitor Ashkanani who used to be located across the street from them. The second thing that happened is they changed locations.

Saturday night I pass by their old Baghdad Street location to print some photos and found them closed. So I passed by yesterday morning and they were still closed. I just figured their Ramadan timings were weird and I was missing them. Then by chance last night, I was walking over from my apartment building to the ATM machine in the building next door when I came across their new location. I recognized all the employees before I noticed the sign outside and walked in. Turns out they had just moved to the new location this past Saturday.

Ashkanani can print your digital photos in various sizes, I usually print them in 10×15 and it costs 150fils per photo. For film lovers they also sell 35mm film in their store and they can also develop any size of film including 35mm and 120mm (as long as its color film).

So if you’re looking for a place to develop your photos, here is their location on [Google Maps\]. If you’re driving there then I would recommend you park in the lot next to McDonalds across the street.


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Shops that Sell Old Kuwait Memorabilia

Post by Mark

Yesterday I mentioned I found an old copy of a Kuwait TV Guide from 1989, what I failed to mention is that I bought it from an antique shop. I thought I had posted about these antique shops before, but when I searched through my blog, I couldn’t find anything about them. There is a basement in old Salmiya near Marina Mall filled with shops that sell antiques.

I passed by there last week since I needed to pick up a few items to use as props for a clients photoshoot, and thats when I got the old TV guide and a few other things. The shop I was in actually had a whole bunch of old TV guides along with a whole lot of old magazines and newspapers (even books) from the 50s and 60s all the way up to the 90s. I ended up buying a few things, a copy of “Majala Al Kuwait” from 1975, two 8-track tapes, the old TV guide and most importantly, a 7-inch vinyl record for the song “Haydoo – Our Camel, Lovely Camel”. If you aren’t familiar with the history of this song, I posted about it back in 2006 and its still an interesting read today. Here is the [Post]

Off of my head I think there are around 8 shops located in that basement all of which sell old memorabilia. There is one store that specializes in old records and another in old coins and rare bank notes, but most sell stuff you grew up with as a kid. In between all this randomness you’ll also find some super odd things like Nazi memorabilia.

The opening hours of the shops are pretty random since from my experience the owners are rarely there. But the building caretaker has the keys and will let you in if the shops are closed. If you find something you like he can take a photo and whatsapp it to the owner to get you a price but it also makes haggling more difficult. If you’re interested in checking these places out, the shops are located in the basement of a corner building near Marina Mall. The ground floor has shops that sell hair products but the basement is all antique stores. Here is the location on [Google Maps]


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Old Kuwait is Digitally Disappearing

Post by Mark

Yesterday I was trying to find an article I had posted about an event that took place in Kuwait back in 1974. A friend of mine works right next to Souk Al Kabeer in Kuwait City and I thought she would be interested to know that during the construction of the building back in 74, it collapsed during the night while the construction workers were asleep and killed I believe around 40 or 50 people (I think?). I couldn’t find the article but the video above is taken from the AP archive shot that morning showing the aftermath.

I was flipping page by page through my 50s to 90s category on the blog trying to find the article and I couldn’t for some reason. But, I did realize something important, a lot of the videos of old Kuwait I had linked to or a lot of links to photo galleries of old Kuwait on other websites or blogs were now dead and no longer available.

familybookshop

It’s rare and difficult enough finding these treasures and so its pretty sad that many of them are no longer available to view. I was pissed off at myself and disappointed that I didn’t think of downloading or saving backups or hosting the images myself. I always considered it bad etiquette to find images on another blog and then host them all myself, I thought the proper thing to do would be to link back to the blog instead and send people there. Now I regret doing that, I shouldn’t trust other people with the responsibility of archiving history.

Thinking out loud I tweeted that I should probably set up a GoFundMe account where all the money collected would be used to purchase old footage and photos of Kuwait from the likes of Huntley Film Archives, Periscope Film, AP Archive, various Flickr accounts and the likes and then store them somewhere in the cloud for everyone to access and where it could remain permanently.

But then we’re back in the same situation, where you’re trusting a person (in this case me) to maintain and keep this archive, but what if something happens to me? Say for example one day while driving down the Gulf Road and my Datsun bursts into flames and I die, that means I won’t be able to continue to pay for hosting and maintaining that archive. Actually thats whats going to happen with my blog as well, probably stay up a month or two after I die, and then it would disappear forever along with the 10,000+ posts and over 200,000 of your comments.

This is why I think there needs to be a non profit organization that is responsible for archiving these important items. And I’m not talking about historically important films and artifacts, I’m talking about general random everyday stuff that people wouldn’t think of archiving from old Hardees ads to some guys family photos from the 60s (they’re wonderful). They don’t sound like very important items to archive but I personally think they are. They’re everyday life from a different era.

There actually might be a local organization that is doing this and I’m just not aware of it but I doubt it. KOC have a great in-house archive department which is extremely organized and one I’ve visited and written about [Here], but they are archiving their own content and not other peoples.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is an organization needs to be established and if anyone ever decides to do it then please invite me to be part of it. For now I’m going to spend this weekend skimming through my old 50s to 90s posts and make sure everything I’ve linked to I’ve also mirrored on my blog so if the source is dead the information is still here.


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The KOC Archive: The Old Kuwait Airport

Post by Mark

oldairport

This is part of the last bunch of photos I have from my last trip to the KOC photography archive. I should pass by and get some more but for now, here are some old photos of the old Kuwait airport. Not sure where this airport was located so if someone could let us know that would be great.


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