Lincoln Theater

‘The Atomic Café’ and director Jayne Loader Oct. 21

Posted:  Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 8:00am

Story Location:
2 Theater Street
Damariscotta  Maine  04543
United States

Lincoln Theater will be hosting a screening of the classic film, “The Atomic Café,” along with a post-screening discussion with one of the film’s directors, Jayne Loader, on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. at the theater in downtown Damariscotta.

Armageddon has never been so darkly funny as in “The Atomic Café.” This 1982 cult classic juxtaposes Cold War history, propaganda, music and culture, seamlessly crafted from government-produced educational and training films, newsreels and advertisements. Taken together, these sources cheerily instruct the public on how to live in the Atomic Age, how to survive a nuclear attack (!) ... and how to fight and win a nuclear war. As a U.S. Army training film advises, "Viewed from a safe distance, the atomic bomb is one of the most beautiful sights ever seen by man." Newly restored and recently re-released, “The Atomic Café is an absurdist blast from the past that would be downright laughable if it weren’t so eerily relevant to our fake news present.  In 2016, the film was selected for preservation in the United States' National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Jayne Loader, one of the three directors of the film, will join in for a question and answer session after the screening.  Ms. Loader was born in Weatherford, Texas and grew up in Fort Worth.  Following the release of “The Atomic Cafe,” she wrote a novel, “Between Pictures,” and a collection of short stories, “Wild America,” both published by Grove Press.

In 1995, Jayne shifted gears yet again and created a CD-ROM and website, “Public Shelter,” featuring “WWWench," one of the first blogs.  During the 2000s, Jayne and her husband, the astronomer Robert Kirshner, were Masters of Quincy House at Harvard College. 

Doors will open at 1 p.m.  Tickets, available at the door, are $8 for adults, $6 for Lincoln Theater members and youth 18 and under. 

Additional information can be found on the theater’s website,, or by calling the theater at 563-3424.