Totally 70s Chicago: Check out this awesome tourism film from 1977

By on August 22, 2015

We think Chicago is one of the great American cities and it seems like we rarely get the chance to mention it here on Night Flight, so we’re taking the opportunity to do so after spying this awesome little short tourism film, “Chicago Is…,” lensed back in 1977, that was released this week by the Chicago Film Archives.

The film — made by Cine-Mark productions for the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau Inc. — is a bit color-faded and red-tinted due to film stock and storage conditions, but it hits all the right 70s notes, especially that horny soundtrack.

“The film was made in the late 1970s to encourage tourism to the city and therefore offers a light and fluffy glimpse of Chicago,” Anne Wells, collections manager for Chicago Film Archives, wrote in an email. “It focuses on tourist hot spots, rather than diving into specific neighborhoods, populations or any critical discussion for that matter.”

There’s great footage here of the city’s beaches, Magnificent Mile, restaurants, and outside the city, Great America and Ravinia, circa 1977, which we’re told by Time Out, is the year the current iteration of the Chicago Marathon was founded, the year of a catastrophic El crash in the Loop left eleven dead and the year that Led Zeppelin played a set of shows at Chicago Stadium.

We also remember seeing Chicago in the opening title sequence of The Bob Newhart Show,” where Bob Hartley (Bob Newhart) is seen coming out of a building called The Thorndale, which was actually located at at 5901 North Sheridan.

The title sequence was one of our favorites in the 70s — the show aired from September 16, 1972 until April 1, 1978 — and even thought this is actually an alternate opening sequence from 1972, it should bring back some memories too.

Chicago Film Archives is a non-profit regional film archive dedicated to collecting, preserving, and providing access to films that represent the Midwest.

These videos are just the tip of the iceberg – visit their Collections portal to search & view over 1000 streaming videos from their collections, and you might consider making a tax-deductible donation to Chicago Film Archives, a non-profit regional archives dedicated to collecting, preserving and providing access to Midwest moving-images.

And be sure to check out their other Youtube channel, “Chicago Film Archives presents “Wrestling from Chicago“, featuring 1950’s classic wrestling shot in Chicago.


About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.