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Chicago and Movies in Prison

Follow in the steps of inmates and movie stars on our guided walking tour of a former suburban Chicago prison.

About

Located about 30 miles outside Chicago, Old Joliet Prison has served for years as an Illinois state penitentiary and a movie set. Learn more about the prison's double histories on this two-hour (mostly) outdoor walking tour.  

 

On the 1.25-mile guided tour, wander through the former correctional center's barbed-wire gates and imposing 19th-century fortress-style walls. While inside, experience firsthand the prison's sally ports, cellblocks, chapel, cafeteria, yard, and solitary confinement. 

 

Finally, take a seat in the darkened gymnasium to hear about Hollywood's century-long relationship with Old Joliet Prison, including cinema's role in Illinois prison reform. 

PRICE

$40/person

DURATION

2 hours

DISTANCE

1.25 miles

Movies and TV series featured on this tour

  • Ghost Adventures (2019)

  • Empire (2015-20)

  • Public Enemies (2009)

  • Prison Break (2005-09)

  • The Blues Brothers (1980)

  • White Heat (1949) 

Tour Specifics

Start/End Points

1125 Collins St, Joliet, IL 60432

Tours meet in the main parking lot in front of Old Joliet Prison, off Collins St.

 

Please check in at the gift shop at the west end of the parking lot across from the prison. After checking in, drive to the back (west side) of the prison by taking Collins St. north to Hills Ave. and then turning left.

 

Finally, park and enter at the West Gate for your Chicago movie tour!

 

View aerial map of meeting locations.

Accessibility

This tour is not ADA-approved, but 70% of it is accessible for all guests.

What to Wear

Closed-toe shoes and weather-appropriate clothing. Tours run rain or shine.

 

Note: the property has little shade, which can make summer tours rather warm.  

Photography/Video

No video or audio recording of the tour, but take as many pictures as you’d like!

Cancellation and Refunds

You may cancel or amend your reservation 48 hours or more before the tour departs. Read more Tour Terms and Conditions.

Capacity

10-20 guests.

Waivers

Guests must initial a digital general waiver of liability with Chicago Movie Tours when they book. 

Guests must also sign a waiver with Joliet Area Historical Museum when they arrive at the property. Guardians must sign waivers for children under the age of 18.  

What to Bring

  • Sunscreen (if necessary); the property has little shade

  • Bottle of water (if necessary)

  • Camera

  • Mask

Restrooms

Flushable toilets are available in the gift shop at the beginning of the tour. Portable toilets are available throughout the tour.

Private Tours

Yes! This tour may be booked as a private tour, provided the property is available. Please contact us for more specifics.

Parking/Transportation

Plenty of free parking is available.

COVID-19 Guidelines

Fully vaccinated guests are preferred on all Chicago movie tours. Your tour guide, Kelli, has been fully vaccinated.

 

About 75% of this tour takes place outside, where masks are currently not required. We will go inside some buildings, so please have a mask handy, whether you're vaccinated or not. Unvaccinated guests are encouraged to wear masks at all times.

Children

Guests ages 10 and up can attend.

Low Attendance Policy

This tour needs at least 10 guests to run. In the event we must cancel because of low ticket sales, we will notify you via email and then refund you in full.

Other Questions?

Please contact us!

 

What's included on this walking tour?

  • Expert tour guide commentary

  • Special access to buildings/areas used by Hollywood crews and casts

  • Demonstration featuring old and new media to bring the prison's history and stories to life

  • Plenty of Instagram opportunities

  • Free parking

  • Mini goodie bag! 💙

Book Now

We've offered the last public tour of the 2021 season. Our 2022 dates are listed below!

 
  • Chicago and Movies in Prison | Public Walking Tour
    Chicago and Movies in Prison | Public Walking Tour
    Old Joliet Prison
    Multiple Dates
    RSVP
    May 01, 2022, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
    Old Joliet Prison, 1125 Collins St, Joliet, IL 60432, USA
    Take a unique walking tour of a suburban Chicago prison used in movies and TV shows
  • Chicago and Movies in Prison | Public Walking Tour
    Chicago and Movies in Prison | Public Walking Tour
    Old Joliet Prison
    Multiple Dates
    RSVP
    May 21, 2022, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
    Old Joliet Prison, 1125 Collins St, Joliet, IL 60432, USA
    Take a unique walking tour of a suburban Chicago prison used in movies and TV shows
  • Chicago and Movies in Prison | Public Walking Tour
    Chicago and Movies in Prison | Public Walking Tour
    Old Joliet Prison
    Multiple Dates
    RSVP
    Jun 05, 2022, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    Old Joliet Prison, 1125 Collins St, Joliet, IL 60432, USA
    Take a unique walking tour of a suburban Chicago prison used in movies and TV shows
  • Chicago and Movies in Prison | Public Walking Tour
    Chicago and Movies in Prison | Public Walking Tour
    Old Joliet Prison
    Multiple Dates
    RSVP
    Jun 25, 2022, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    Old Joliet Prison, 1125 Collins St, Joliet, IL 60432, USA
    Take a unique walking tour of a suburban Chicago prison used in movies and TV shows
  • Chicago and Movies in Prison | Public Walking Tour
    Chicago and Movies in Prison | Public Walking Tour
    Old Joliet Prison
    Multiple Dates
    RSVP
    Sep 17, 2022, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
    Old Joliet Prison, 1125 Collins St, Joliet, IL 60432, USA
    Take a unique walking tour of a suburban Chicago prison used in movies and TV shows
  • Chicago and Movies in Prison | Public Walking Tour
    Chicago and Movies in Prison | Public Walking Tour
    Old Joliet Prison
    Multiple Dates
    RSVP
    Oct 09, 2022, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
    Old Joliet Prison, 1125 Collins St, Joliet, IL 60432, USA
    Take a unique walking tour of a suburban Chicago prison used in movies and TV shows
Old Joliet Prison closes its doors over late fall, winter, and early spring.

Chicago Movie Tours offers this tour only 6-7 times/year, so be sure to grab tickets when they're available!