Natural Bridge, Virginia: King Kong Crushing Airplane

14 feet tall, King Kong stood at the Pink Cadillac Diner for years, before moving to its creator's Enchanted Studios. Mark Cline says he made the big ape as part of a local zoning protest.
Natural Bridge, VA
I-81 Natural Bridge exit 180, 1/2 mile on the right.
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Visitor Tips and News About King Kong Crushing Airplane

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King Kong. King Kong Crushing Airplane

The King Kong isn't at the Pink Cadillac anymore. Upon further exploration we found King Kong had moved behind the fence at Enchanted Castle Studios.

[Rae, 10/22/2014]
Pink Cadillac Diner

Gorilla with biplane is temporarily on top of a building in Roanoke. Waitress didn't know which building. Humpty Dumpty is no longer there either.

[Jaybeeyell, 05/26/2012]

The King Kong was moved to the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, where artist Mark Cline had a temporary exhibition of his madcap work early in 2012. We hope Kong returns soon.

King Kong. King Kong Crushing Airplane

Is actually exit 180-B, but the Pink Cadillac Diner is adorable. Food was good, cheap, and service was great.

[Sarah, 08/09/2011]
Humpty Dumpty at the diner. Pink Cadillac Diner

Mark Cline's big gorilla is still next to the Pink Cadillac Diner (and maybe the folks at Dinosaur Land should get in touch with him about a new biplane -- the one in Kong's hand at the Pink Cadillac looks way better than the replacement plane at Dinosaur Land...) The diner also has a pink Cadillac out front (of course) and an Elvis statue inside. I really liked the little guy who greets you at the front door of the restaurant, holding a menu that says "2 Eggs" (crossed out), "Omelette" (crossed out), "Scrambled Egg" (crossed out), and finally "Ham!" He's probably a re-purposed Humpty Dumpty, and he looks more like some of the whimsical pieces (as opposed to the scary pieces) that are at what's left of Mark's Enchanted Castle Studios.

The restaurant itself has obviously been around awhile, and when I quizzed my server on its history, she pulled out a vintage postcard that showed that the restaurant was once part of a motel made up of small individual cabins called Tiny Town.

[Dean Jeffrey, 02/21/2008]
Pink Cadillac Diner. Pink Cadillac Diner - Pop Psychedelic Mess?

At the Pink Cadillac Diner, along with King Kong crushing an airplane, Humpty Dumpty sits creepily near the entrance.

Inside the diner you can find a bronze statue of Elvis, cardboard cut-outs of The Duke and James Dean, a big stuffed pink flamingo, photos from yesteryear, and more. The food is good and varied, consisting of burgers, chicken sandwiches, chili, chili dogs, and liver. They have beer and hand-dipped ice cream as well.

On the wall facing the road, in the big dining area (to the right when you first walk in), above a window next to Betty Boop, is a foam-board "painting" of an unknown scene. I don't have a picture, but it is one of a kind: a Cadillac with a French flag in its window is on a desert road, with a snake in the foreground, a cross, and tons of other confounding imagery. The tripped-out color scheme suggests its inspiration. Be sure to look at it for more than 10 seconds and try to come up with a conclusion.

[VCOM, 03/24/2007]

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