Chicago Film Tour Podcast

Chicago has no shortage of tours of all types (on foot, by bus, on a Segway, by boat) and covering myriad themes (history, architecture, pizza, shopping, etc.). This one I found recently is a “D-I-Y” tour of Film locations in Chicago that combines walking, taking the El, and taking a taxi to some of our most famous locations in the city where many popular movies were filmed. Additionally, you get a map of the locations AND an accompanying audio podcast narrated by Bill Kurtis. And the price of all this: FREE! (Except for transportation costs and admission fees to some of the locations.)

Just visit the “Onscreen Illinois” website at and download the PDF map and podcast file. (The podcast is a ZIP file that includes the 19 individual MP3 files that comprise the audio tour. Each is about 3-5 minutes long.)

The locations are pretty spread out. As far south as Cellular Field/Sox Park and as far north as the Uptown neighborhood (4500 North). I'm sure it would take at least the better part of day to see all of them; longer if you spend any time at more than a few of them. You could certainly do the Downown/Loop locations. Still, on a rainy day like today, I enjoyed listening to the podcasts while “mentally” visiting all the locations. I've been to all of them at one time or another, and have seen most of the movies mentioned. For those I've seen, it was interesting to try to remember the movie scene mentioned.

Of course, seeing the actual location in person – inside and/or outside - is best. My advice: Listen to the podcasts and the next time you're in the neighborhood, pause and remember! Below is a list of the locations and the neighborhood they are in.

Chicago Hilton and Towers Hotel
Art Institute of Chicago
Sears (Willis) Tower
Union Station
Chicago Cultural Center
Daley Center Plaza
Chicago River Boat Cruises and Riverwalk
Navy Pier
Drake Hotel
The El
Buddy Guy's Legends (Blues Club)

U.S. Cellular Field/Sox Park

Double Door (Jazz/Blues Club)
Green Mill (Jazz Club)

1) Unfortunately, the PDF map is not interactive. It would have been nice to click on the location and at least see a photo of it. Ah well..... maybe in its next iteration.
2) The audio files were created in 2006 so no movies filmed and released after that are included.
3) The free trolleys to Lincoln Park Zoo and other attractions mentioned in the Navy Pier clip no longer exist. (Boo-hoo!) However Navy Pier does have its own trolley that operates between Navy Pier and the intersection of Grand Avenue and State Street.

The website ("Movies by Region") has a lot more info and includes many movies filmed here post-2006, including the Dark Knight. Photos of the locations mentioned in the podcasts (plus more recent movies) make this an interesting “prep” for your in-person walking tour (so you know what to look for).
The opinions expressed here are those of the individual and not those of StreetAdvisor.
2 people following
this discussion


Deena 2yrs+
I meant for this to go in the Chicago forum posts so I guess I'll have to copy it over to there. However, I guess it's OK here too since the website and the podcast does mention places outside of Chicago.
The opinions expressed here are those of the individual and not those of StreetAdvisor.
MovieFan1 2yrs+
There's an iPhone app "Movies Filmed in Chicago" that has interactive maps, photos and fun information for over 50 movies, 200 locations and 300 scenes.
The opinions expressed here are those of the individual and not those of StreetAdvisor.

Add a comment

Best Neighborhoods to Live In

Best Cities to Live In

Tell everyone what you love about your neighborhood!

Leave a Review

Have a question?

How are schools? Is the area safe? What about public transit options?" Why not ask our community of locals!

Ask Now

Selling or Renting Your Home?

Maximize the selling price of your home by sharing what you love about your suburb to increase its appeal...

Leave a Review

Corporate Relocation Manager?

Enable your employees to share local knowledge in a private, trusted environment with those relocating... while building community.

Learn More