Flames destroy Coliseum Ballroom on Historic Route 66

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Aug 012011

The legendary Coliseum Ballroom in Benld, Illinois was gutted by fire Saturday night, leaving nothing but a charred shell.

Officials say the fire broke out sometime between 9 and 10 p.m. in the Macoupin County antique mall, about an hour northeast of St. Louis. A band was playing to a full house when the blaze started.

One of the band members said he noticed a burning smell hours earlier around 7:30 p.m.

Nearly every surrounding department responded to the fire. Flames reportedly rekindled Sunday morning, and crews returned to the scene.

Three people suffered injuries during the blaze. No word yet on their condition.

In its heyday, the ballroom was seen as a historic hotspot on Route 66.
It was built in the 1920s, and hosted many celebrities over the years. It was reportedly one of Al Capone’s favorite hide-outs.

You can check out a video of the fire by clicking HERE.