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Chicago's Midway and Movies



0.5 mi.

1 hr

Returns Spring 2024


Join the only walking tour that explores the Midway's 130-year history with movies!

Take a leisurely stroll down Chicago's historic tree-lined Midway, site of the famed World's Fair of 1893! On our 0.5-mile route, you'll hear about the first cinema, the first female action star, and a murderous cinematographer. (Yes, murderous!) You'll also experience firsthand how vintage moving picture devices enthralled early audiences. 

Whaddya waiting for? Join the only tour in Chicago that explores the Midway's century-long relationship to the movies!



On this hour-long walking tour, you'll visit 5 spots on the Midway (as well as part of University of Chicago's campus) as you hear about their history and connections to early cinema and modern movies:

  • Midway Studios

  • Taft House

  • Recording Angel

  • the Midway's green space

  • Fountain of Time

Private Tours

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 10 guests. If you have more than 10 in your party, please contact us so we can accommodate you.

Tour Specifics

Start/End Points

The tour starts at 6016 S. Ingleside Ave, Chicago, IL. Please arrive at least 10 min. before the tour begins. The tour ends at 6000 S. Cottage Grove Ave.


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


If available, free parking spots run along the Midway, Best Drive, and Payne Drive. For public transit: the Green Line runs from Chicago's Loop to S. Cottage Grove. Our starting point is about a 10-minute walk from the Cottage Grove "L" station.


All five locations we visit have sidewalks, crosswalks, and ramps. The road we cross to visit Fountain of Time does not have a crosswalk designated for pedestrians.

What to Bring

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


A Jewel-Osco grocery store with a public restroom is near the end of our tour route. A restroom may also be available in Logan Center for the Arts, next to Midway Studios.


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.

Movies/TV Highlighted
  • Flatliners (1990)

  • The Package (1989)

  • Sunset Boulevard (1950)

  • Chicago the Beautiful (1948)

  • Sue (1915)

  • The Hazards of Helen (1914-1917)

  • The Horse in Motion (1880)

Returns Spring 2024


What's Included

  • Expert tour guide commentary

  • Clips and vintage photos that enhance the Midway's film history

  • Demonstration of 19th-century moving picture devices

  • Plenty of Instagram opportunities

  • Free parking

  • Mini goodie bag!


Ellen B
average rating is 5 out of 5

May 22, 2022

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Really enjoyed Chicago Movie Tour @ Midway! Kelli does a terrific job of bringing history to life with the Chicago movies as her back drop. Our family toured old Joliet prison with her yesterday and really enjoyed this one as well! Very well worth the time. Kelli knows her stuff and is a terrific host!
average rating is 5 out of 5

October 1, 2021

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As knowledgeable as I thought I was about movies (especially those with Chicago connections), I learned so much more from my recent Chicago Movie Tours event with host Kelli. Even with things I kind of knew before, I was able to look at them in a new light. Engaging, detailed presentations and an eagerness to answer questions made this a top-notch experience. Highly recommended.
average rating is 5 out of 5

November 1, 2021

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Excellent walking tours that share past history of the city and key sites where movies occurred. Much more than just your average historic tour as her wealth of unique knowledge in film makes her tours extra special.
Sarah Braden
average rating is 5 out of 5

September 9, 2021

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Having just finished my first "live" tour with Kelli, I can heartily recommend her as a guide! I'm looking forward to the next one!
Robin S
average rating is 5 out of 5

October 1, 2021

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This tour was very interesting and informative! I lived in Hyde Park for 2 years and had never seen most of the places Kelli took us to and talked about. Great linking of the sites to Chicago and to its role in the history and development of film. I enjoyed Kelli's virtual programming before and now look forward to attending more in-person experiences!

Unlock Cinematic Adventures

Gift This Tour!

Gift the magic, share the joy — because every movie lover deserves their moment in the spotlight!


Chicago Movie Tours gift cards are valid for any listed walking tours, virtual tours, courses, or merchandise.

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