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Route 66 is the most beloved and historic highway in America.  More than a road, it is a ribbon that connects our vast country both physically and culturally. It's a journey into our past, and the road ahead. It's a symbol for freedom, adventure and resilience – but it is no mere symbol.

At 100 years, Route 66 is a living path where hope, courage, and the American spirit are found in every mile.

We are honored to be selected by the U.S. Route 66 Centennial Commission to help the nation celebrate the 100th anniversary of this legendary road by producing the feature-length documentary:
Route 66: The Main Street of America.

OFFICIAL PROJECT OF THE ROUTE 66 CENTENNIAL
Our work

what happens When we go to town.

THE FILMMAKER

JOHN PAGET: THE ROUTE 66 FILMMAKER
John Paget is an award-winning documentary filmmaker with deep roots on Route 66. In 1994, he strapped a TV camera to the hood of a 1969 cotillion white convertible Cadillac Coupe de Ville and hit the road. Destination: Route 66. It was the first of multiple cross-country trips on the Mother Road, during which John directed, shot, and edited Route 66: An American Odyssey and Route 66: Return to the Road with Martin Milner - documentary films that rank as the pinnacle among devoted Route 66 historians and advocates.

While researching, producing and promoting these films, John traveled the length of Route 66 a dozen times. And he met and worked with the road’s most iconic legends – singer Bobby Troup (1918-1999), TV-star Martin Milner (1931-2015) and Seligman barber Angel Delgadillo (considered the father of Historic Route 66) and best-selling author Michael Wallis (Route 66: The Mother Road).
Photos, clockwise from top:
John Paget & Angel Delgadillo on Route 66 outside Seligman, Arizona 1994.
John Paget with singer Bobby Troup in Beverly Hills. California, 1994.
John Paget with Martin Milner and crew of Route 66: Return to the Road in Santa Monica, California 1997.
John Paget and author Michael Wallis at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard in St. Louis, Missouri, 1994.

Learn more about filmmaker John Paget
His many journeys on Historic Route 66 instilled in John a passion for leveraging the power of film to revive and revitalize communities across America.

John's TED Talk How to keep your hometown from becoming a ghost town, reflects on a lifetime of creative work as a filmmaker dedicated to telling civic stories.

Read "Capturing 66 on Film" - Route Magazine's profile of John Paget and his past films on Route 66.


Follow John backstage and behind-the-scenes, throughout the making of the film.

Join our Patreon, and you'll get exclusive content, stories and sneak previews.

THE STORY

ROUTE 66: THE MAIN STREET OF AMERICA
Originally commissioned in 1926, Route 66 was hailed as The Main Street of America.  It wanders through the very heart of more than a hundred cities, towns and main streets from Chicago to LA.  Our film focuses on the intimate stories of these places and people. It explores their history, their resilience, their revitalization, their future. And it evokes our collective national pride and shared connection to this iconic aspect of the American experience.

The tapestry of stories from Route 66 offer hope, courage, and inspiration for the country’s next 100 years. It is a journey through American history, and it is the way forward, the road ahead.

SUPPORT THE FILM

OFFICIAL FILM CREW GEAR
Support the making of this film by buying our ROUTE 66 x 100 YEARS film crew hats and shirts - all celebrating the centennial of Route 66. Your purchase goes directly to funding the production of Route 66: The Main Street of America.

Thanks for your support!
SHOP ROUTE 66 x 100
OUR STORY

John Paget

FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR

It all started in a giant convertible Cadillac, rolling across the country on the Mother Road.

Learn More

Chris Elisara

FOUNDER & PRODUCER

I was a “free-range kid” growing up in New Zealand with a walking range of about 3 miles, a biking range of about 5 miles, and a bus range of about 15 miles to downtown. Today’s kids are as flightless as a Kiwi bird. Not cool!

Learn More

screenings

WORLD PREMIERE TOUR
Route 66: The Main Street of America film will premiere as a moving celebration: a cross-country tour down Historic Route 66. Partnering with local entities along the historic highway (Main Street programs, downtown associations, tourism bureaus and chambers of commerce), we’ll screen the film at 26 select drive-ins and historic independent movie theaters from Chicago to LA. These screenings will be multi-faceted community celebration events, with live entertainment, crew and characters from the film, and other special guests from local stretches of Route 66.


Want to premiere the documentary film in your town?
REQUEST A SCREENING

THE STUDIO

FIRST+MAIN FILMS
First+Main Films is the creative studio where placemaking meets filmmaking. It was founded by two friends, John Paget and Chris Elisara, driven by a shared passion and purpose.

First+Main Films tell stories about cities, towns, and neighborhoods to foster civic pride, build community, and spark imagination.

To learn more, watch our short anthem film: A Story Can Change a City.
PLAY MOVIE
Our work

what happens When we go to town.

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