Gemini Giant

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The Gemini Giant at the Launching Pad

The Gemini Giant is a landmark statue on U.S. Route 66 at the Eastern entrance to Wilmington, Will County, Illinois. Standing outside the Launching Pad Drive-In restaurant, the 30 foot tall statue is one of many giant "Muffler Man" advertising props found throughout the USA in the Sixties. The Gemini Giant is named after the Gemini space program and holds a silver "rocket ship" in his hands, while sporting an astronaut's space helmet that resembles a welding mask.[1][2]

The proprietors of The Launching Pad Drive-In, John and Bernice Korelc, bought the five hundred pound astronaut figure outfitted with helmet and rocket for $3,500 at the annual National Restaurant Association convention, and the Giant has been the main decoration of the restaurant since 1965. The Launching Pad Drive-In with the Gemini Giant, listed for sale as of late 2011, is recognized internationally as a Route 66 landmark. As of fall 2010, the restaurant had closed. [3]


  1. ^ "Wilmington, Illinois - Home of the Gemini Giant". Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "The Launching Pad Diner". Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  3. ^ Hinckley, Jim (2012). The Route 66 Encyclopedia. Voyager Press. p. 155. ISBN 978-0-7603-4041-7. 

Coordinates: 41°18′37″N 88°08′19″W / 41.310352°N 88.138571°W / 41.310352; -88.138571

New owners as of October 2017 and working on re-opening Spring 2018.