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Beneath the Big Screen: Chicago and Movies Underground



2 hrs

1.25 mi.

10 guests


Visit 10 locations above and below street level as you discover their ties to movies

Step into the hidden world of Chicago's cinema history with our guided walking tour Beneath the Big Screen: Chicago and Movies Underground

Led by a knowledgeable guide with a Ph.D. in film, this 2-hour journey takes you through—and beneath—the heart of downtown Chicago. Yes, prepare to venture underground while traversing the city's film locations! 

As you navigate the secret nooks of the Pedway and bustling streets of the city, expect to encounter familiar themes like gangster films and the caped crusader himself. But the true magic of Beneath the Big Screen lies in its exploration of lesser-known film subjects—like the first virtual reality movie and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of department store Santas.

On the 1.25-mile route, you'll encounter landmarks like historic City Hall, Chicago Cultural Center, and Millennium Station, where the Dark Knight once roamed with his Batpod. You'll also make stops below Daley Plaza and other notable sites, each with its own fascinating ties to Chicago's longstanding film scene.

Finally, as with all of our guided movie tours, your experience will be enhanced with a variety of media: videos, photographs, screenshots, soundbites, maps, and/or vintage movie fan magazines. 

Whether you're a seasoned film buff or just looking for a new way to explore the city, Beneath the Big Screen: Chicago and Movies Underground promises to inform, entertain, and leave you with a newfound appreciation for Chicago's cinematic legacy. 

Don't miss your chance to go underground and behind the scenes of Chicago's film world. Book your tickets now!

NOTE: There is a passing reference to suicide as we discuss Bill Murray's early career here in Chicago.

Movies/TV Highlighted

  • Southside with You (2016)

  • The Dark Knight (2008)

  • The Lake House (2006)

  • Barbershop 2 (2004)

  • What Women Want (2000)

  • The Fugitive (1992)

  • Child's Play (1988)

  • The Untouchables (1987)

  • The Blues Brothers (1980)

  • Medium Cool (1968)

  • Tarzan and His Mate (1934)

  • Stars: Bill Murray, Oprah Winfrey, Dorothy Lamour, Rock Hudson

Public Tour Dates


Jul 18, 2024

4:00 PM


Jul 26, 2024

3:00 PM

Private Tours

Book this tour as a private or group tour! The private tour price listed below is a flat fee for up to 8 guests. If you have more than 8 in your party, please contact us to see if we can accommodate you.

NOTE: This movie tour runs on weekdays to give you access to Chicago's City Hall, where multiple movies and TV series have filmed. City Hall is closed on weekends.

Tour Specifics

Start/End Points

The tour starts outside Walgreens, 2 N. State St. (NW corner of State/Madison). The tour ends at Daley Plaza, 50 W Washington St.


Guests must initial a digital general waiver of liability with Chicago Movie Tours when they book. Guardians must sign waivers for children under the age of 18.


By Car: Nearby Millennium Garages are located at Grant Park North Garage (25 N. Michigan Ave), Grant Park South Garage (325 S. Michigan Ave) and Millennium Park Garage & Millennium Lakeside Garage (5 S. Columbus Dr). Public Transit 'L': Red Line train to Monroe or Purple/Brown Line to Washington/Wabash.


Guests will need to climb up/down 2-5 sets of stairs. Escalators and elevators are available in some locations.

What to Bring

Please wear weather-appropriate clothing. Tours run rain, snow, or shine.


Public restrooms are available at several stops on this tour route.


Guests ages 10 and up can attend.


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

Cancellations and Refunds

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

What's Included

  • 2-hour journey through Chicago's Loop, including underground and historic locations

  • Expert tour guide commentary, including little-known stories from Hollywood's and Chicago's pasts

  • Guided access inside locations where movies and TV series have filmed 

  • Small group to generate engagement and foster a personalized tour

  • Visual and audio media to enhance your experience

  • Plenty of Instagram opportunities 

  • Mini goodie bags! 💙



Beneath the Big Screen: Chicago and Movies Underground

average rating is 5 out of 5
Another fine tour by a great host. Full of local tidbits and history presented where it happened.

June 30, 2024


Beneath the Big Screen: Chicago and Movies Underground

average rating is 5 out of 5
Fun walk through Chicago learning about the city, movies, and history. Kelli had great visuals and kept us warm and dry in Feb with knowing how to navigate underground walkways.

April 1, 2024


Beneath the Big Screen: Chicago and Movies Underground

average rating is 5 out of 5
What a fantastic tour! Kelli is a true expert in film and knows how to share her expertise in a fun and unique way! She took us to several locations in the downtown area of Chicago where scenes from well known and lesser known movies were filmed. Armed with a handheld screen, she was able to make those scenes come alive as she shared different techniques that the directors used to get just the right few seconds of film. And it was right where we were standing! I’ve visited Chicago about a dozen times and this is now my FAVORITE tour!! Bravo, Kelli!! Thanks for the wonderful memory!

July 29, 2023


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