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The Chicago skyline over Lake Michigan, as seen in Camera on Chicago (via Chicago Film Archives).


  • F.2007-02-0001 (Source: Chicago Film Archives)

Date produced: 1983


Warren Thompson

Country of Production:

United States









Sound Notes:



Chicago Film Archives list of titled amateur films


"This film is 'a love letter to the city' from Chicago native and filmmaker Warren E. Thompson. It is a continuing effort to record some of the events, characteristics, problems and glories of Chicago. Footage includes architecture, sculpture, housing, Lake Michigan, Chinatown, parades, Maxwell Street Market, and the people of Chicago. Thompson captures life and culture from the most affluent to the poverty stricken." Chicago Film Archives.


Filmed around Chicago from the early-1940s until 1983.

This film is a part of the Warren Thompson Collection held by Chicago Film Archives.


  • Chicago, Illinois (Filming)
  • Lake Michigan (Filming)






Warren Thompson Collection, Chicago Film Archives


  • Screened at the "Let's Get Working" festival held at the David Logan Center for the Arts on May 10, 2014: Chicago, IL

Viewing Notes:

"00:00 - opening credits, PAN Chicago skyline across Lake Michigan, MS waves crashing, TILT to cityscape, HA cityscape, TILT UP skyscraper 01:28 - Var MLS Chicago houses, MS architectural details, LA PAN buildings along Lake Shore Drive, MLS highway 02:34 - CU map Lake Michigan, Var CU train wheels in motion, HA locomotive going under camera, VS factories, smoke stacks on horizon 03:30 - MLS Fulton Market Provision Co., MS cow [?] carcasses hanging from hooks, MS chickens stacked in cages 04:01 - RA horse pulling cart of water melon, parked cart of scrap, VS metal smith forging horse shoes, shoeing a horse, MS leading horse out of stable 04:44 - FA, RA, HA cars on expressway, HA packed car lot, HA beach and cityscape, TILT DOWN Lake Shore Drive, HA construction on beach shore way 05:48 - MLS crane, TILT UP moveable bridge, RA man welding, LS construction site, VS construction workers pouring and smoothing cement, VS LA highway overpass, VS cars driving on highway and overpass, sign Monroe St. 07:46 - MLS laundry hanging from back porch, MLS garbage spilled under bridge, young African American boys playing around garbage 08:19 - Poverty stricken neighborhoods, VS run down housing and shops, VS children playing in fire hydrant, VS dilapidated housing 09:35 - HA people washing cars under bridge, MS people along sidewalk, pulling carts, homeless and poor, MS man drinking from wine bottle, man sleeping in doorway 11:04 - LA wrecking ball knocking down building, CU crane operator, MLS, LS tall buildings, high rise apartments 12:35 - MS, CU pond, lily pads, flowers, TILT UP tulip gardens, Var CU flowers and tree branches 14:22 - LS, MLS boats in bay, Var MS boats, MLS sailboat raising sail and leaving dock, SA people fishing along cement edge, CU man holding up catch for camera, CU rods, equipment, people 15:58 - HA shore filled with beach goers, MLS people swimming, MLS down packed beach, MLS people walking past camera in swim wear 16:49 - FA, HA TILt people walking on busy sidewalk, flags of every country along road, FA middle of traffic, HA, LS Streets lit up at night 18:05 - MS people on horse cart of watermelon, MS man selling straw hats, VS women buying hosiery from street vendor, MS street vendors 19:06 - Chinatown, MLS, MS Chinese buildings, architectural details, MS people walking on sidewalk, CU window displays, MS children with toy guns, coonskin cap 20:03 - CU sign “Midwest Buddhist Church”, MLS full patio, CU child wearing Chinese straw hat eating noodles with chopsticks, VS street vendors, children w/ adults selling wares 21:13 - VS crowd gathered to watch an outside performance, man plays drum on stage decorated with lanterns, MS, CU women and children in colorful kimonos perform a dance, men follow dancing 23:08 - LS boats and ship on water at dawn, then day, MS PAN people waving from convertibles drive by in parade, MLS parade motorcycles and cars drive by quickly on Lake Shore 24:03 - VS cargo being loaded by crane onto ship, LS army ships decorated w/ flags, MLS people boarding, VS huge display of flags blowing, CU signs of names of countries, CU clothing, wine and art from other countries, MS signs for food, people entering building decorated w/ flags 27:13 - VS Fountain of the Great Lakes at Art Institute of Chicago, Congress Indian, Chicago Picasso, CU people admiring sculptures 28:19 - VS Old Water Tower 29:04 - MS cars buried under snow, HA PAN cityscape and lake covered in snow and ice, HA children walking in snow, MS snow covered bench, sculpture, railings, CU melting ice 30:08 - beautiful shots of trees and awnings covered w/ white holiday lights at night along Michigan Ave., TILT Old Water Tower 31:23 - MLS, memorial, CU “Site of Fort Dearborn”, TILT tower, LS Wrigley Building, clock tower, VS skyscrapers along Magnificent Mile, LS Prudential Building 32:14-33:36 - PAN cityscape across water, LS buildings, MLS crane, TILT UP Sears Tower, LS, boat TS cityscape at dusk, night, THE END," via Chicago Film Archives.

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