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The Lacey Lady: Roadside Attraction, American Icon

In 1947 gas station owner Art Lacey, on a $5 bet, bought a surplus World War II B-17 bomber and mounted it over his "Bomber" gas station in Milwaukie, Oregon. Art Lacey’s station, located on Oregon’s busy highway 99, played into America’s post-war obsession with the automobile. The "Bomber" gas station became an instant roadside attraction. As a result, he sold more gasoline than any other station in the USA.

This 11 minute documentary tells the story of how Art flew the bomber from Oklahoma to Portland and how he promoted his gas station as told by interviews with family members and employees who worked at the station. Now, after 67 years "flying" over the station, the "Lacey Lady" is undergoing restoration to flight condition in Salem, Oregon to honor the veterans who fought in the war.

  • Ned Thanhouser
    Director
    The Thanhouser Studio and the Birth of American Cinema, The Monkey and Her Driver
  • Ned Thanhouser
    Writer
    Bryan Heim
  • Ned Thanhouser
    Producer
    The Thanhouser Studio and the Birth of American Cinema, The Monkey and Her Driver
  • Ardine Scott
    Key Cast
    "Punky Scott"
  • Jayson Scott
    Key Cast
  • Terry Scott
    Key Cast
  • Carolyn Dickman
    Key Cast
  • Fred Bremner
    Key Cast
  • Guy Mitchell
    Key Cast
  • Col. Stanton Rickey
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 15 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 7, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • B-17 Alliance Foundation
    Salem, Oregon
    United States
    December 7, 2019
    Salem, Oregon
    n/a
Director Biography - Ned Thanhouser

Ned is an award winning documentary filmmaker from Portland, OR. His feature film "The Thanhouser Studio and the Birth of American Cinema" premiered at the opening night at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival in Pordenone, Italy on October 4, 2014 and was featured on Turner Classic Movies "Silent Sunday Nights" in July 2015. It was awarded a Special Jury Award for Documentary at the 2015 WorldFest-Houston, Award of Excellence by the Depth of Field International Film Festival, and was nominated for Best Documentary Feature by the Los Angles Film Review. His documentary about two Oregon women motorcycle sidecar racers, "The Monkey and Her Driver," won numerous awards and has been featured at motorcycle film festivals in the USA, Canada, Europe, and was featured on OPB's Oregon Lens in 2016.

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Director Statement

"The Lacey Lady: Roadside Attraction, American Icon" is a tribute to our military veterans, past and present. Art Lacey's purchase in 1947 of a surplus B-17 was used to promote his gas station in Milwaukie and was his way of honoring those who fought and flew in the war. It became an icon on Oregon's Highway 99 where his station sold more gasoline than any other station in the USA. The airplane is now at Salem's McNary field undergoing restoration to flight condition as a tribute to those who served our nation. Along with a museum and military artifacts, the "Lacey Lady" is an educational opportunity for future generations to Honor the American Spirit .