PASADENA, Calif. – Unfortunately, the walls in Carrows can’t talk. One picture on the wall will have to tell the whole story, with some help from loyal general manager Francisco Martinez.
“All this section is still the same, same color, same food warmers” Martinez said about the kitchen area. He then gestures up to the picture of Linda Hamilton serving as a waitress in the same spot when filming the very first Terminator.
This restaurant in Pasadena is where part of the first Terminator was filmed 20 plus years ago. The diner, called Big Jeff's, is where Linda Hamilton’s character Sarah Conner worked.
Martinez has worked for the company for 20 years, and been the general manager for the last three years. He says fans of the film come from all over the world – Japan, Australia, Russia, and beyond just to see the iconic spot.
“Especially on Halloween they come dressed up. After they eat they use the common phrase, 'I’ll be back,'” Martinez said with a laugh.
They do come back – in droves. Asking questions, some even boldly asking to get behind the counter to stand where Sarah stood.
“They can come over and take a pic, we let them come in why not,” Martinez said.
Now with the new Terminator reuniting Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, the fandemonium is real. Fans are floored to touch a piece of cinematic history, but for Martinez, it is another day at work. He has some high hopes for this restaurant-turned-film-set-turned world wonder.
“A few blocks away is the house where Psycho was filmed, it's considered an historical landmark. We’re hoping for that,” he said.
Martinez is expecting another huge crowd of Terminators on Halloween, and even though he doesn’t dress up, he can play the part.
“I’ll be back!”
He would be, but he has no plans to ever leave.