(photo of Public Enemies clapperboard)
Public Enemies, Michael Mann’s upcoming film about Chicago gangsters in the 1930s, began filming in Lincoln Park today. This involved restoring the Biograph Theatre, where John Dillinger (played by Johnny Depp in the movie) was killed, to its 1934 appearance. Here are a few photos that I took before the cops moved everyone off the sidewalk to start filming (click on the photos below to see the full size version):
Mann himself (or at least I’m 99% sure it is) shortly before the cops chased the public away.
The restored theatre facade, with marquee showing
Manhattan Melodrama as the current film.
A slightly different angle a few minutes later, after the air conditioning banner has been added. Notice also the old-fashioned telephone booths being installed on the left.
Actually, most of the block got a facelift. The facades of the three buildings to the right are completely artificial. The “Food Store” in actuality is a Qdoba. The building on the far right is being used for extras holding.
Lots of storefront windows like this all along Lincoln Avenue. It wasn’t just a matter of changing the items in the displays to older stuff, either. Most of the stores are actually restaurants, so the displays themselves had to be built.
Lots of vintage signs were added, too.
Of course, no urban period movie would be complete without a fleet of vintage automobiles.
I honestly thought this was Christian Bale, who plays Melvin Purvis, the FBI agent who led the manhunt for Dillinger. Even now I think this guy looks like a dead ringer for Bale in profile. But it’s just some extra, or perhaps a stand-in.