A guide to Chicago’s film history
Everyone knows Ferris kissed Sloane in front of the Chagall windows at the Art Institute. But did you know Harry met Sally on the quad at the University of Chicago?
Arm yourself with trivia from the newly updated book Hollywood on Lake Michigan ($19) and top your friends’ never-ending Blues Brothers references. Four factoids to get you started:
1. In the Silent Era, one in five movies was filmed in Chicago. North Side studios Selig Polyscope and Essanay drew stars including Charlie Chaplin and Gloria Swanson. The buildings are now St. Ben’s Lofts condos and St. Augustine College.
2. When Tom Cruise sock-skated in Risky Business (1983), his living room was a set built in the gym of Skokie’s Niles East High School. It’s the same place where writer/director John Hughes later shot scenes for Sixteen Candles (1984).
3. Chicago decided not to snow the winter that Nicolas Cage was in town filming The Weather Man (2005). Thanks to a freak warm spell, the crew had to fabricate mountains of ice, sleet and fake snow.
4. Keep an eye out for a familiar face on the number 66 Chicago Avenue bus. CTA employee Denise Hughes played the driver who seals the fate of Will Ferrell’s Harold Crick in Stranger Than Fiction (2006).