The Madame Web Pepsi Sign Is A Real Location In New York

Madame Web Pepsi Cola sign

It’s pretty apt that Madame Web seems to be sponsored by Pepsi… Sony’s Spider-Man Universe is essentially the Pepsi to the MCU‘s Coke. From characters drinking (or not) Pepsi, to Cassandra Webb’s (Dakota Johnson) multiple visions of the Pepsi-Cola sign, the soda is everywhere. But did you know the Madame Web Pepsi sign is a real place you can visit in New York?

This is, of course, great news for the burgeoning Madame Web tour industry that will assuredly pop up in the wake of the movie’s epic box office implosion. But all jokes about the movie’s money-making ability aside, here’s what to know about the Madame Web Pepsi sign, as it will henceforth be known throughout history.

Madame Web Pepsi Sign: What to know about the real NYC Pepsi-Cola sign’s location

The Pepsi-Cola sign is, as you might imagine, an advertisement for Pepsi that has been around for decades. It’s located in Long Island City, which is Queens just across the river from Manhattan. It’s especially visible from the FDR Drive on the East side of Manhattan.

However (and we’ll get to where it came from in a second) it’s not at a Pepsi factory. Or at an abandoned fireworks factory, like it is in Madame Web. Instead, the sign was named a historic landmark in 2016. Currently, it sits as a sign, unconnected to any building, since 2004 in Gantry Park Plaza. That’s part of Long Island City, by the way.

So, let’s jump back in time for a second. The sign was originally placed atop the Pepsi-Cola plant in Long Island City on August 30, 1940. Originally, the sign — which Pepsi claimed was the longest electrical sign in New York — had a little “5c” advertising Pepsi’s five-cent price. That was removed mid-1940s when the price increased. The bottle on the sign was changed in the 1970s when the bottle design of Pepsi changed.

This, funnily enough, would later cause problems with its landmark status when that was first proposed in 1988, since the sign had therefore “only” been around for about a decade, due to the changes.

In 1992, the sign was almost destroyed due to a nor’easter and was removed in 1993. A version of the sign was rebuilt on Pepsi’s Manhattan plant, but given the sign was already up for landmark status, it was argued the company needed to bring it back. They did, but at the same time, in 2000, Pepsi announced they were moving operations to College Point, further North in Queens. PepsiCo sold the plant in 2003, and in 2004 the sign was moved 300 feet away with its own base constructed so it would no longer be connected to the plant. The plant was demolished, and apartment buildings built, but the Pepsi sign remained.

Hold on: is the Pepsi sign the reason Madame Web was set in 2003?

Madame Web Isabela Merced Dakota Johnson Sydney Sweeney Celeste O'Connor

So as you may have noticed, the Pepsi building was left vacant in 2003, and the sign was moved in 2004. Madame Web is very specifically set in 2003. So while the movie doesn’t have the strongest fidelity to, you know, dates, or logic, did they set Madame Web in late 2003 just so they could set some of the action around an abandoned factory with a Pepsi sign?

…Maybe? Whether purposeful or not, the timeline does work. This is when there was no Pepsi being made in the factory, and the Pepsi-Cola sign was still around. At least until Madame Web and her amazing friends broke it. That said? There is no historical reason the factory would be full of fireworks.

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