This Chicago billboard has been advertising the movie Aloha for the last two years, and still no one has seen it. pic.twitter.com/3q3qQXtTHN— Bryan Dowling (@thebearcomic) April 7, 2016
Last year, Cameron Crowe's flop of a film Aloha starring Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone (who for some reason was cast as an Asian-American woman) made its wide release. By pretty much every measure, it was a terrible joke of a movie. It grossed $26.3 million worldwide (which wouldn't be bad if it didn't have a production budget of $37 million), it received a 19 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and critics have called it everything from "frustrating" to an "an unfortunate demonstration of the law of diminishing returns."
While most movie fans would like to forget about the Almost Famous director's most recent flub, anyone who's passed through the heart of Logan Square over the past year has been met with a painful reminder in the form of a billboard that the film does, in fact, exist. The same Aloha billboard has remained on the roof of the old Grace Furniture building at 2618 N Milwaukee Ave for a year now, and local residents have not failed to take notice. A Tumblr page was created by Matt Byrne last November with the goal of answering a single question: "Is the poster for the movie Aloha still on that billboard in Logan Square?" It's updated periodically with the simple answer: "Yes."
This week, a Facebook event was launched to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the film's release on Sunday, May 29. The goal is to "honor the anniversary of the longest movie marketing campaign ever" with "a covert tiki drink or two," snacks and other Hawaiian-themed garb at the Logan Square monument. It's unclear whether or not tiki drink mastermind Paul McGee will be in attendance (his bar Lost Lake is a mere two blocks away).
The Aloha billboard is owned by local company VisualCast, which also owns a pair of billboards on the face of the same building that have been blank for years after a lengthy legal battle with local preservationists. The rookie 35th ward alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa has been a strong advocate of keeping billboards out of the Logan Square Boulevard Historic District, which could explain why Cooper's and Stone's mugs are still looking over the monument a year later. VisualCast did not respond to a request for comment.
In any case, the billboard is a warm welcome (or goodbye) to anyone passing through the neighborhood. If you want to join in on the ironic commemoration of one of 2015's worst films and the strange billboard associated with it, head out to the monument next month for some good old-fashioned community jest.