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.
Movies and TV series featured on this tour
Ghost Adventures (2019)
Public Enemies (2009)
Prison Break (2005-09)
The Blues Brothers (1980)
White Heat (1949)
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!
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.
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.
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)
Flushable toilets are available in the gift shop at the beginning of the tour. Portable toilets are available throughout the tour.
Plenty of free parking is available.
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.
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.
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
Mini goodie bag! 💙
We've offered the last public tour of the 2021 season. Our 2022 dates are listed below!