Atomic Café

Filmmakers: Akira Boch, Tadashi Nakamura
Runtime: 11 min

Synopsis: In the late 1970’s, 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 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.

About the Filmmakers

Akira Boch is an Emmy-Winning filmmaker and the Director of the Watase Media Arts Center at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. He has an MFA in Directing from the UCLA School of Film, TV, and Digital Media, and has made over 50 short films, documentaries, and music videos.

Emmy-winning filmmaker Tadashi Nakamura was named one of CNN’s “Young People Who Rock” for being the youngest filmmaker at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and listed as one of the “Top Rising Asian American Directors” on IMDb. His recent films, Mele Murals and Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings, were on PBS.