World’s Largest Catsup Bottle, Collinsville Illinois

This Big thing just south of the town of Collinsville, Illinois has actually managed to make it on to the National Register of Historic Places, as a prime example of 20th century Americana.

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According to their web site, among its other claims to fame, it is one of the weird places, mentioned in the movie Twilight: Eclipse, where Bella and her mom had traveled to, and that her mom turned Bella’s t-shirts from those places into a keepsake quilt for her daughter.

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When I saw I wondered, was it just an oddly shaped water tower? Apparently I was right, according to this discussion of the bottle’s history. Where I was wrong was when I opted to go here (World’s largest… so duh) I assumed I was going to a place NOT on Route 66, but it turned out that as far as the state of Illinois is concerned, it is.

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Luna Café, Granite City, Illinois

First opened in 1924, The Luna Cafe in Mitchel Illinois on historic Route 66 is a dive bar with historic value… supposedly Al Capone used to hang out here.

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Sadly, their Neon signs, which to be honest is half of why the place is worthy of note… were in a horrible state of disrepair when I saw it.

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The 66 sign is not part of the neon; it is reflective, and I had my flash on… so…

According to what I read, the upstairs at Luna’s was a whore house, and when the local ladies where ‘ready’ to see gentleman callers the cherry in the martini would get lit up with red neon… otherwise it was “apparently not working.” (Since this was NOT visible on the neon at all, I swung by the next day to get a picture of it in daylight. Good thing I was staying for two nights).

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That said, the place has HORRIBLE Yelp reviews, so I stuck my head in, took a look around — spotted a lot of people too drunk to drive… and left

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The former historic Bel Air movie theater on Route 66, Granite City, Illinois

More history has disappeared… I came to the corner of Chain of Rocks Road (Route 66) and Bel Air Drive which is where the Bel Air movie theater sign is supposed to be and it was not there.

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Instead, there’s a great big empty lot and a truck that says Bel-air commerce Park one and a half to five acre lots available, with the name of who to call. They tore down the sign. Now that I’m home, I researched and found this article — they only just removed it at the end this July… and it is now in the hands of private collectors