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The Richard J. Daley Center: As Seen on TV!

When you think about seeing the Richard J. Daley Center in a movie, you may immediately think of the 1980 classic, The Blues Brothers. Certainly no film since has featured the Daley Center so prominently, or with so much artillery. But in fact, our building has been seen in several films, and many celebrities, including Sandra Bullock, Bruce Willis, Will Ferrell and Harrison Ford have walked our halls and sat in our plaza. Our facilities have seen helicopter landings, armored tanks, police chases, bus crashes, gun-wielding criminals and elderly characters hogging the pay phones. However, every movie that has been filmed in our facilities has the cast and crew of The Blues Brothers to thank for opening the door for them:

Mayor Byrne (center) surrounded by some of the cast and crew of The Blues Brothers

Robert K. Weiss, Producer: “The Blues Brothers was really the first big picture to shoot in Chicago since [Mayor Richard J.] Daley had passed away. …We met with Mayor Jane Byrne. We had met with her to say how happy we were to be shooting in Chicago and so forth, and so she asked was there anything she could do for us.”
John Landis, Director: “Mayor Byrne was very instrumental. And there were other people in high places. …It was amazing the cooperation we got from the whole city.”

There are many aspects about the Daley Center which may explain its draw to filmmakers; perhaps it is the unique exterior Corten metal that gives a russet-color to our structure or it could be our spacious high courtrooms which span 36 feet in height. However, most tourists would argue it is our open plaza that draws attention for the same reason it draws them from all parts of the world- our 50 foot tall Picasso sculpture, and landmark status.

Whatever the reason may be, here at the Daley Center, we embrace filmmakers who help generate jobs for our community and stimulate our local economy. …Welcome to Chicago!

Movies which feature the Daley Center: The Blues Brothers (1980), The Fugitive(1993), Mercury Rising (1998), Stranger Than Fiction (2006), The Lake House (2006), The Promotion (2008),The Dark Knight (2008), Baby On Board (2009)

Movies which show the Daley Center, but do not feature it: Adventures in Babysitting (1987), While You Were Sleeping (1995)

Because records did not start being documented about movies which were filmed in our location until recently, there may be several which are not represented on our list. If you know of one, we would love to hear from you. Please e-mail permitapplication@mbres.com.



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