Atomic Cafe neon sign
Indiana Jones & the Mystery of the Atomic Cafe Sign

CONELRAD readers who have already seen INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL know that it has an incredibly "atomic" first act. And observant, obsessive viewers probably took note of the elaborate sign attached to a restaurant that an army convoy passes early in the film. This sign is either the original or a meticulous replica of the "Atomic Cafe" sign made famous in the 1982 documentary of the same name. According to Jayne Loader, co-director, co-producer and co-editor of THE ATOMIC CAFE, the original sign belonged to an actual diner in Arco, Idaho and was featured in an educational film entitled THE MAGIC OF THE ATOM (1954). CONELRAD confirmed that this establishment was owned and managed by a man by the name of Bill Dorton and that it existed as early as 1950. A check of the current Yellow Pages for Arco, Idaho reveals that the town has only one atomic business as of 2008: "Atomic Lube" at 325 N. Front Highway 93.

CONELRAD's question to the set dressers* of the new INDIANA JONES film is whether they somehow found the real McCoy or did they create the sign from scratch? And since it appears to be nearly impossible to get in touch with anyone from LucasFilm, CONELRAD would appreciate it if someone from the Indy crew would let us know the story behind the sign. If it is a replica, it is a true work of art on the part of those persons who crafted it.

Trivia Note: At least five other cities had "Atomic Cafes" in the Fifties: Los Angeles; Odessa and Amarillo, Texas; Kennewick, Washington; and Beatty, Nevada.

In other Indy news, Communist Party members in Russia are condemning the new film because of its use of Soviet characters as villains (most notably Cate Blanchett as the over-the-top Dr. Irina Spalko). Party member Andrei Gindos said (presumably in a bad Russian accent): "Harrison Ford and Cate Blanchett (are) second-rate actors, serving as the running dogs of the CIA. We need to deprive these people of the right of entering the country."

*INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL set dressers:

Richard Andrade
Joseph Badalucco Jr.
Colleen Broderick
Lance Cheatham
Joseph DeStefano
Richard Frato
Paul Gaily
David Ladish
Greg Lynch
Nashon Petrushkin
Sara Philpott
Eric Ramirez
Liza Rudolph (Buyer)
Skylar Schmidt
Nicole Zaks





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