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Beneath the Big Screen: Chicago and Movies Underground

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About

2 hrs

1.25 mi.

10 guests

$39.99

Discover 10 iconic and obscure ties to Chicago movies while descending below street level

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 secretive nooks 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 unique 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)

  • Tarzan and His Mate (1934)

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

Friday

May 24, 2024

3:00 PM

Friday

Jun 14, 2024

3:00 PM

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.


Waivers

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.


Parking/Transportation

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.


Accessibility

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.


Restrooms

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


Children

Guests ages 10 and up can attend.


Photography/Video

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.

Private Tours

Yes, you may book this tour as a private or group tour!


The private tour price listed below is a flat fee for up to 9 guests. If you have more than 9 in your party, please contact us to see if we can accommodate you.

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 experience (up to 10 guests) to generate engagement and foster a more personalized tour

  • Visual and audio media to enhance your experience

  • Plenty of Instagram opportunities 

  • Mini goodie bags! 💙

Reviews

Cindy

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

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Ryan

Beneath the Big Screen: Chicago and Movies Underground

average rating is 5 out of 5
Our group had an amazing time on the Chicago and Movies Highlights Tour! We planned our company retreat, "Summer Fun Day," around learning and celebrating Chicago films, and our tour guide Kelli did a wonderful job educating and entertaining us. We would definitely recommend taking this tour if you are a Chicago visitor or a native looking to learn more about the city!

August 8, 2023

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Donna

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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