'The Tank' Now Available on DVD

We’ve just received a DVD version of The Tank, the great short documentary on the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium that aired a few months ago on KHNL-TV.

Many of our friends on the Mainland and around the world couldn’t see the broadcast; many here in Hawaii want to see the film again and share it with friends and family.

You asked for it. No problem! Now you can get it.

Here’s How to Get Yours

While supplies last, we’ll send a DVD of The Tank as a thank-you for a tax-deductible donation of $25 or more to the Friends of the Natatorium. The easiest way to donate is by credit card through PayPal. Just click on the “Donate” button on the right side of this page. If you prefer to contribute by check, there’s information on how to do that on our “How to Contribute” web page.

What You’ll Get

First of all, your donation helps us advocate to repair and reopen the War Memorial Natatorium, the state’s official memorial to World War I volunteers from Hawaii. We’ve made so much progress in the past few years, but we still need your help.

Second, while supplies last, your donation gets you The Tank DVD as a thank-you gift! You’ll see the entire documentary, plus the special “behind the scenes” bonus track on the making of the film.

What You’ll See

The Tank compresses nearly 100 years of Natatorium history and more than 40 hours of video into a compelling 46-minute story. It enchants those who remembers swimming in the Natatorium. It captivates those too young to have known it as a family hangout, mecca of competitive swimming and icon of Waikiki.

The film begins with the Great War and the movement shortly after the Armistice to honor more than 10,000 Hawaii veterans with a unique “living memorial.” The talented filmmakers from Oahu’s TalkStory Productions then follow the tale through glory, neglect and decay, right up to the present. You’ll meet folks who learned to swim there, Olympians who trained and raced there, historians and experts, and those who struggle with the issue of what to do now.

Get a peek behind gates that have been locked since 1979. Relive small-kid-days on the high dive and slide. Recall the international swimming stars who trained and competed in the Tank.

A tax-deductible gift of $25 or more, and the DVD is yours — with our deepest thanks. Mahalo for your patience while we put the DVD together!


Categories: Documentary, Friends of the Natatorium, Support, and Uncategorized.


  1. robin coblentz

    when I first saw it,in 2008,I just stood there and wept. How could this happen? Being an army brat and from San Antonio,a place that is very pro active about preservation,I was in disbelief. Hawaii ought to be ashamed of what has happened.

    • dlching

      Kirby, your dad must’ve been one of legendary coach, Soichi Sakamoto’s swimmers! Might your dad have been Ralph Wright? He set a world record in the Natatorium!

  2. Susan Price

    Is The Tank DVD still available? I would love to get one for my elderly dad for Christmas.

    Aloha, Susan

    • dlching

      Susan, we do still have copies of the DVD, which are part of our mahalo to you when a donation of $25 or more is made to the Friends of the Natatorium. You are welcome to send us a check or use the paypal button on our website. The DVD will be sent to you along with your IRS acknowledgement letter for your tax deductible contribution! Happy Holidays

  3. Bob Wallace

    I have a vignette centered around Jefferson School fourth grade swimming lessons, Tommy Duncan, a Nat lifeguard, and the Nat. in 1947 / 48. Would love to share it.

  4. Bryan Swoboda

    If I do the $25 donation online, is there a way I can pick up a copy of The Tank locally? I’m here in Honolulu and would love to show this film to my Den of Boy Scouts. We’ll be visiting the Natatorium this weekend to talk about it.