Chicago and Movies in Prison | Walking Tour
Time and Location
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 in this tour:
- Ghost Adventures (2019)
- Empire (2015-20)
- Public Enemies (2009)
- Prison Break (2005-09)
- The Blues Brothers (1980)
- White Heat (1949)
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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.
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. Thank you!
Low Attendance Policy
Due to operating costs, this tour needs a certain number of guests to run. In the event we must cancel because of low ticket sales, we will notify you and then refund you in full.
Guests must initial a digital 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 Wear
Closed-toe shoes and weather-appropriate clothing. Tours run rain or shine. Note: the property has little shade.
What to Bring
- Sunscreen (if necessary); the property has little shade
- Bottle of water (if necessary)
- Mask, if unvaccinated
Guests ages 10 and up can attend.
This tour is not ADA-approved, but 70% of it is accessible for all guests.
Cancellation and Refund Policies
In short, You may cancel or amend your reservation 72 hours or more before the tour departs. Cancellations received within 72 hours of tour departure—along with late arrivals and no-shows after a tour departs—are not eligible for refunds. Read more Tour Terms and Conditions.
This tour may be booked as a private tour, provided the property is available. Please contact us for more specifics.
- General Admission$40+$1 Service fee$40+$1 Service fee0$0