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Reel History Film 'Atomic Café' Looks Closely At The Era Of Nuclear Warfare

February 13, 2012

Films Presented in Conjunction with the Manasquan High School History Club & Garden State Film Festival

REEL HISTORY Film Series: "Atomic Café" (Topic: The Cold War)

Date & Time:
Tuesday, Feb. 21 � 7:30 p.m.

Algonquin Arts Theatre
173 Main Street, Manasquan, N.J.

Tickets: $5
Available for purchase online at or at the door

MANASQUAN, NJ: The REEL HISTORY Film Series continues on Algonquin Arts Theatre on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. with "Atomic Café," a disturbing collection of 1940's and 1950's United States government issued propaganda films designed to reassure Americans that the atomic bomb was not a threat to their safety.

Presented in association with The Garden State Film Festival and the Manasquan High School History Club, the film will be followed by a discussion led Mr. James Fagen, Manasquan High School history teach and one of the co-founders of REEL HISTORY.

Created by directors Jayne Loader and brothers Kevin and Pierce Rafferty for release in 1982, "Atomic Café" combines a wide variety of news coverage, newsreels, U.S. Army training videos and U.S. government propaganda films. A compilation film, the filmmakers did not add narration or original footage, instead weaving the story using the original audio to tell the story. The soundtrack includes an eccentric collection of the best atomic-themed songs of the Cold War era.

Critics raved about the film, with Roger Ebert calling it a "chilling memory of life in the first years under the mushroom umbrella." Vincent Canby of The New York Times summarized the film as 'a devastating collage-film that examines official and unofficial United States attitudes toward the atomic age.'

The program is not just for students; history buffs, film lovers and anyone who would like to look back on the era of fallout shelters and school day drills should not miss this event. Tickets are just $5 and available at the door and can be printed at home or school in advance by purchasing at

REEL HISTORY was created by Fagen and Garden State Film Festival founder and Algonquin Arts Theatre Director of Community Outreach Diane Raver, as a way to enrich the community while enhancing the curriculum for local students.

Upcoming topics include Women's Rights and 1920s Culture. A complete schedule and synopsis of each film is available at