Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You Belong to the City, You Belong to the Night

So you want to live in the 80's? Adjust those shoulder pads, grab your Wayfarers, and turn on your Empire State Building Lamp! We're excited to share this unique 1980's prop from the 1988 Eddie Murphy film "Coming to America", the 1988 Tom Hanks film "Big", and the 1986 Sylvester Stallone film "Cobra".
Shown above is the actual lamp that appeared in both 1988 feature films "Coming to America" & "Big". This lamp is constructed with a translucent white plastic shell in the form of the Empire State Building. Within the building's shell is a fluorescent tube light that illuminates the building from within. This architectural lamp shows incredibly well on a raised pedestal or table as can be seen in the screen shots from "Coming to America" below.
To find this scene in the film look for it around the 1 hour 12 minute mark with the following dialog.
Arsenio Hall (Semmi): Akeem!
Eddie Murphy (Akeem): What have you done?
Arsenio Hall (Semmi): You told me to fix up the place.
Eddie Murphy (Akeem): I should kill you!
Arsenio Hall (Semmi): Why?
Eddie Murphy (Akeem): I'm supposed to be a poor man.
Below is a screen shot from "Big" with Tom Hanks and Elizabeth Perkins. To find this scene in the film look for it with the following dialog.
Elizabeth Perkins (Susan): I'm not so sure we should do this.
Tom Hanks (Josh): Do what?
Elizabeth Perkins (Susan): Well, I like you, and I want to spend the night with you.
Tom Hanks (Josh): Do you mean sleep over?
Elizabeth Perkins (Susan): Well...yeah.
Tom Hanks (Josh): Well, okay... but I get to be on top.
Below is a screen shot from "Cobra" with Sylvester Stallone. To find this scene in the film look for it around the 16 minute mark.
Spiring to a height of 38.5" tall with the base measuring 10.25"x8.75" this piece of interior design is iconic for the 1980's in how it uses a symbolic art deco building to create drama with lighting and sculpture. Little is known about the manufacturing or distribution of this lamp, other than that they originated from Japan. We recently sold the lamp featured in the movies, but have an identical piece available.
For additional information please email: the80sgallery@yahoo.com or visit www.the80sgallery.com


  1. I love this lamp and bought it in the 80s from a shop in the Cerritos Mall called Doo-Dahs

    1. Hi. I, too, have one of these lamps; but the starter for the fluorescent bulb burnt out. Do you have any idea how I can replace it? Any suggestion would be helpful. Thanks. You can email me at terrellschafer@yahoo.com.

  2. I'm commenting on a six year old post to say that I just noticed one of these lights in the amazing Over Our Heads shop on Facts of Life season 7. I wouldn't have made the connection were it not for your great blog!

  3. Here’s a link to one for sale on eBay