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Chicago's World's Fairs and the Movies

Discover how Chicago helped advance film and create movie stars

About This Tour


Chicago has hosted two major world's fairs. In 1893, the city hosted the World's Columbian Exposition and in 1933-34, Century of Progress. Both events showcased moving pictures. 

In this program, learn about a murderous (!) cinematographer, including his influence on early cinema and status at the 1893 World's Fair. 

Also, celebrate the fathers of modern movies—and that time they filmed Chicago's famous Ferris wheel. 

Then, walk the trails of Northerly Island (via HD video) as you discover how this man-made peninsula—along with events that occurred there in 1933—is connected to classic Hollywood.


What's Included

Chicago Movie Tours' virtual and in-person programs incorporate the following to bring the subject matter to life:

   •    HD video
   •    Photos
   •    Clips and screenshots
   •    Maps
   •    Newspapers
   •    Movie fan magazines
   •    Animated slideshows
   •    Expert commentary...and more

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