Q&A with Makers of ‘Atomic Café’ Documentary

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“Atomic Nancy” Sekizawa

The Japanese American National Museum and Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival will present Q&A following premiere of “Atomic Café: The Noisiest Corner in J-Town” on Sunday, Sept. 27, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

In the late 1970s, when L.A.’s punk rock scene was exploding, an unlikely family-owned restaurant in Little Tokyo started by Japanese Americans returning from America’s WWII concentration camps became one of its most popular hang-outs.

That’s when Sansei “Atomic Nancy” with her “take-no-prisoners” punk make-up and demeanor took the café over from her parents and cranked up the jukebox. Infamous for its eclectic clientele — from Japanese American locals and kids from East L.A. to yakuza and the biggest rock stars of the day — the Atomic Café became an important part of L.A.’s punk rock history.

Now, the Atomic Cafe’s life and legacy is highlighted in a new film by Tadashi Nakamura and Akira Boch that explores its many sides — from the 1940s opening to its last days on First Street. Join Nancy Sekizawa aka “Atomic Nancy,” her daughter, artist Zen Sekizawa, Remy De La Peza, Nakamura and Boch for a conversation in celebration of the Atomic Café.

The film will be available at a pay-what-you-wish rate for streaming from Sept. 24 to 30 as part of Visual Communications’ upcoming Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. For more information, visit: https://festival.vcmedia.org/2020/

The Q&A will be streamed live on JANM’s YouTube channel (http://youtube.com/janmdotorg) on Sept. 27. This program is presented in partnership with Little Tokyo Service Center and Visual Communications, as part of the LAAPFF.

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