Sunday, September 24, 2006

Now leaving Minneapolis

After our morning coffee, we had to get a daytime shot of the old Ritz Theater--which is now a dance studio—and this great old bar sign just down the block.
We had a long drive ahead, but we were able to pull over a few times when a particularly fetching mid-century artifact beckoned. Blooming Prairie, MN, retains this snazzy sign, though the store itself has gone out of business.
In Lansing, I was startled and creeped out while photographing the sign pictured below. I pulled into the restaurant’s parking lot, and the moment I stepped out of the car, a speaker underneath the eaves began blasting the irritating Disney tune “It’s a Small World After All.” I can only hope that, unlike the Disney theme parks, Lansing Corners Fine Foods does not have the song on an endless loop.
I’ll wrap up this travelogue with photos of two of Iowa’s most visually stunning small-town cinemas, both of which just happened to be along our route: The Charles in Charles City (see its previous sixties-licious marquee here)…
…And the almost surreal Watts in Osage, which injects a little Dr. Seuss into its Googie.
That’s what we did on our summer vacation. Whew.

Our next scheduled trips are a quick jaunt to Champaign/Urbana, IL (to see the Silversun Pickups!) and a December flight to Austin, TX. In the meantime, there's plenty to see and document in the St. Louis area...if I can find the time, that is.

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