Quick Lunch Diner's Brush with Hollywood - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/13/05

Quick Lunch Diner's Brush with Hollywood

Paramount Pictures made Plainview famous when its crews shot the film "Leap of Faith" starring Steve Martin in Plainview in 1992. The story of a crooked faith healer who gets stranded in small town Kansas shot many scenes at Plainview's Quick Lunch Diner. Hollywood came knocking and the Quick Lunch's owner Juanita Fellbaum let them in. She recalls, "They said they were looking for a location for a movie and wanted to know if they could take some pictures and I said yes. So they took pictures and left."

Juanita... or Shorty as she's affectionately called, figured that would be the last she'd hear from Hollywood, but two months later a whirlwind shut down East 7th Street, took over the Quick Lunch, and temporarily renamed Plainview "Rustwater, Kansas." When they came back and Juanita realized they'd be filming a movie in her diner she told them, "I'd go along with you all the way and it was very exciting."

1992 was Juanita's year to hobnob with Hollywood producers, directors and managers. She even got to eat with the stars of Leap of Faith. Of Steve Martin she says, "Oh, he was very nice. Everybody liked him. They wrote about him in the paper and he was just a really swell guy." Juanita says the other stars were real nice as well... but there's one that did not win hearts in Plainview. That's Debra Winger. Juanita says, "She wasn't too friendly. People didn't give her a very good recommendation. She was more or less... she didn't like to be bothered with, but she's a very good actress."

The Quick Lunch has been a fixture in Plainview for decades and Juanita's since 1966. It's something about the old charm of the place, the original stools and counter, that made it perfect for the movie. It's been 13 years, but customers still ask questions. Juanita's granddaughter Melinda Mullins says, "A lot of people come in just to see this place and ask my Grandma questions... where Steve Martin sat and stuff." Juanita adds, "I think we still get some advertisement from the movie. We've told the story over and over and over. We still tell it some."

Since the story of what Juanita calls a "religious crook" left town, life has moved on and resumed its usual pace. Juanita has gone back to slicing tomatoes and reading the paper in between meal-time rushes. But she'll never forget her brush with Hollywood. She says, "Oh, you can't imagine how exciting it was."

Juanita and the Quick Lunch did make one more film appearance. A crew from England filmed a commercial there after the diner's appearance in Leap of Faith.

2005 Live Community Coverage Tour
Learn fast facts and read interesting stories about all of the stops on NewsChannel 11's 2005 Live Community Coverage Tour.

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