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Friday, January 30, 2015

Little Tokyo's Atomic Cafe

Above, The Atomic Cafe at its original location.

Back in the 1980s, I watched a movie on Cinemax called, The Atomic Cafe. It was a documentary of the atomic (and hydrogen) bombs with loads of footage of bomb tests and the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, plus old propaganda films. I still have the movie on tape, but it is available for viewing on YouTube (I recommend it).

When I saw the title of an article on the local L.A. public television station KCET, "Atomic Cafe and the Old Brick Building in Little Tokyo," I just had to take a look.

A century-old building in Little Tokyo is meeting up with the wrecking ball to make way for a new Metro station. The building houses The Atomic Cafe.

According to the article:
When news spread about the demolition of the old brick building at First and Alameda Streets in Little Tokyo, it was a sign that the city had committed itself to the future. The century-old building will be replaced by a new Metro subway stop, slated to become a major transportation hub that will transform the way we travel through downtown. This may be good news from an urbanist perspective -- but what about the history? Should we be paving over a precious link to the past in the name of progress? 
Last February a large crowd gathered inside the building (now a branch of local chain Senor Fish) to honor its legacy. Much of the conversation centered around the Atomic Cafe, which occupied the building for almost three decades and best known as an after-hours hangout for the local punks and weirdos in the '80s.
 It is an interesting article and it shows, once again, that another piece of Los Angeles history won't be around.

To read the article, go here.

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