Tech in Movies: The Boombox From 'Do The Right Thing'

By Alexis C. Madrigal

radioraheem.jpg

With Andrew Sullivan and his wonderful team leaving The Atlantic today, there were some small gifts exchanged between a few of us friends. Namely, The Daily Dish's Zoe Pollock gave me a sweet little Sony boombox. That, inexorably, led us to start talking about John Cusack's character in Say Anything and, of course, Radio Raheem as played by Bill Nunn in Do the Right Thing.

Looking at a still capture from the movie, what struck me was just how massive Raheem's boombox really was. Who made such a thing? It's just so beautiful!

It turns out that James Phillips collects vintage boomboxes and knows a ton about them. Phillips identified Radio Raheem's gargantuan piece of technology as a J1 Super Jumbo.

It's the J1 Super Jumbo, sometimes it's called the Techsonic, sometimes it's called the Promax. I actually have both versions. They're exactly the same except for the nameplate. It is huge, over 30" long and 17" tall!

Why would you need such a big boom box? At that size, you could fit 8" woofers into the case for maximum bass.

A quick YouTube search finds several J1 Super Jumbos lovingly cared for by collectors.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/04/tech-in-movies-the-boombox-from-do-the-right-thing/73358/