moviesGotham City, Ferris Bueller’s Parade, and Bill Murray’s never ending Groundhog Day. Chicago and countless other places in Illinois have transformed time and time again under the influence of Hollywood. Many popular films have used the Windy City, and other places in Illinois, for their iconic sets. The Land of Lincoln has ideal filming sets for Hollywood with Illinois’ robust diversity of locations from skyscrapers to farmlands.

The Dark Knight, featuring a thrilling battle between Batman and Joker, is a well-known movie to have been filmed in Chicago. But did you know, Miracle on 34th Street, Uncle Buck and Sixteen Candles were also filmed in the Chicagoland area? Miracle on 34th Street, while set in New York as a little girl defends an old man who thinks he is Santa Clause, was actually filmed all around Chicago. Places like Lincoln Park Zoo and Mount Carmel Senior Center were used for scenes. The iconic comedy Uncle Buck, about an unprepared bachelor watching his brother’s children, was filmed in various spots around the city, such as the Cubs stadium. Sixteen Candles, featuring 80s superstar Molly Ringwald, was filmed around Chicago’s North Shore, mostly at Niles East High School.

Ringwald returned to Illinois to film another iconic film, The Breakfast Club. The tale of five teenagers stuck in detention together was shot in Des Plaines at Maine North High School. The library scene was actually a larger library they built in the school’s gym. Another famous movie filmed in Illinois, but outside Chicago, was Groundhog Day. A 90s classic were Bill Murray’s character is stuck in the same day over and over again. Most of the film was done in the Woodstock area. Another comedy, Wayne’s World, about two friends trying to organize a concert, was filmed in Aurora and Berwyn. While not all of the film was shot in Illinois, some scenes have an Illinois background.

Illinois was used as a set in many iconic Hollywood films, and it does not seem that will stop anytime soon. Movie sets continue to flock to our state for action packed films done in Chicago, comedies using the backdrop of a nice suburb or dramas and romances using the beautiful scenery Illinois has to offer.