Movies and cinema can play a big role in motivating us to visit a new city. For LeafCanoer, tonifrazer, the city of Chicago is a gold mine of cinematic tourist destinations. Her leaf, “Chicago, Illinois Filming Locations,” highlights some of these Chicago spots made popular by movies and film. For those interested in checking out the cinematic side of Chicago, the below sites and attractions are worth trying out.
Cruising the Chicago River by Boat
One of the most heartfelt and saddest moments in My Best Friend’s Wedding is when the two main characters, Julianne and Michael, played by Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney, take a scenic river cruise along the Chicago River. In this scene, Julianne comes to grips with the reality that the man she’s in love with, Michael, is about to marry someone else. The two share a dance together, as the boat cruises along the river, passing by some of Chicago’s stunning skyline.
You can relive this movie moment by taking your own boat cruise along the Chicago River. There are several companies that offer boat cruises along the river: Mercury Skyline Cruise, Chicago Line Cruises, Chicago Architecture Foundation Cruise, Shoreline Sightseeing, and Wendella Tours. Each of these tours vary in price and the types of cruises they offer, but they all provide beautiful views of the city’s buildings and architecture.
Drive by the Home Alone house
For many children of the 80’s and early 90’s, the Home Alone movies were iconic and influential. The idea of being alone and having absolute freedom without any parents was every child’s dream come true. Watching the main character, Kevin, navigate his way around being on his own, was entertaining. And in the end, we learn that being home alone is not all that it’s cracked up to be.
Though some parts of the film were shot at a sound stage, producer John Hughes and director Chris Columbus chose to have many of the movie’s scenes shot on location in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. These included scenes at Kevin’s home, a three-story house in Winnetka, a suburb of Chicago. This house is a private home, most recently sold in 2012 for $1.58 million. Although much of the exterior has remained the same, most of the interior has been remodeled and modernized. You can’t actually tour the home, but you can certainly drive past the house and take pictures.
Worth mentioning is the church featured in the Home Alone movie.Trinity United Methodist Church is an active church located in Wilmette, another suburb of Chicago. Built in 1930, the church features English Gothic style architecture, accented with stained glass windows. There are no organized tours of the church, but all members of the public are invited to attend their Sunday services.
Drive by the home from Uncle Buck
Another iconic film from the 80’s is Uncle Buck, starring John Candy. In the movie, John Candy’s character, Buck, is asked by his brother to watch over his nieces and nephews in their home in suburban Chicago. Though you can drive by the house and take pictures, similar to the Home Alone house, this house is a private home and is not open to tours. The house, located in Evanston, looks much like it did in the Uncle Buck movie.
Visit Buckingham Fountain
A landmark of Chicago is Buckingham Fountain, which was featured in the opening credits of the TV sitcom, Married with Children. The fountain, which was dedicated in 1927 and situated in Grant Park, is meant to be an allegorical representation of Lake Michigan. It is considered one of the largest fountains in the world, and was modeled after the Latona Fountain in the Palace of Versailles in France. The fountain has seen numerous renovations since 1994. The most recent renovation was in 2009, but additional renovations are still in the works, pending funding. Visitors to the fountain enjoy watching the water shows, which happen on the hour. At night, the shows are accompanied by lights and music.
Even if you’re not a movie buff, catching a glimpse of the cinematic side of Chicago is definitely worth doing. From river cruises to fountain water shows, the city of Chicago certainly has a lot to offer to its visitors.
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