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Arkiva Tropika is the online archive of the collection of Mimi Payne. This large collection includes a wide array of mostly pre-1970 menus, postcards, matchbooks, and paper ephemera souvenir items, mainly from Polynesian and other Exotic themed restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, bars, and the like.

Mimi can be contacted at aloha@

cocktail menu from El Panama Hilton - Panama City, Panama

Item added on December 24, 2009, 10:07 AM
Latest picture added on December 24, 2009, 10:10 AM

Designed by renowned U.S. Architect Edward Durell Stone in 1946, The El Panama Hilton opened in 1951. The hotel is located 2 miles outside of Panama City, and was designed to have open breezeways and cantilevered balconies to allow the rooms to naturally air-condition. The hotel design quickly won accolades and set the standard of the time for resort hotels in the tropics. The El Panama, though no longer part of the Hilton chain, is still open today.

El Bombarde, the namesake of the cocktail lounge at the El Panama, is a mammoth size Warner organ that formerly resided in the Warner Theater in Atlantic City, NJ in the 1930's. Like many organs of the time, it was used to accompany silent movies. As the times changes and the silent film era faded, the organ sat unused for several decades. In 1961, the management of the Hotel El Panama (who were theater organ buffs), learned of the organ & purchased it for the hotel lounge at the El Panama. It was disassembled and transported via plane & ship, and after much remodeling to the lounge to accomodate the organ (which was then renamed El Bombarde), began its new stint at the El Panama in July 1962.

This 1960's cocktail menu celebrates the Hotel El Panama's acquisition, offering specialty cocktails such as the El Bombardon and La Bombardinita.

1960's cocktail menu, front cover
1960's cocktail menu, page 2
1960's cocktail menu, page 3
1960's cocktail menu, page 4

© 2006 Mimi Payne
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