The original item was published from August 28, 2019 10:47 AM to August 31, 2020 12:00 AM
The picturesque setting of Geneva shines bright in the western suburbs. The historic buildings, tree-lined streets, hills and river create a pleasant environment, not to mention the residents and businesses who are part of this magic.
A handful of movie producers have recognized this throughout the years and chosen to film here. In 2002, film stars, Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law and Daniel Craig came to Geneva to shoot "Road to Perdition." The production turned the clock back on State Street to the movie’s Prohibition era.
Dozens of antique vehicles and actors in 1930’s attire decorated the downtown. Geneva residents watched in awe as stunt doubles hung from the sides of speeding mobster rides and fake gunshots echoed in the streets. The plot is based in Chicago, Rock Island and an invented Lake Michigan farm town, Perdition. The release of this July blockbuster was an exciting time for Geneva residents, and the film shared images of downtown Geneva across the globe. "Road to Perdition" was well received, grossing more than $180 million worldwide and winning an Academy Award for Best Cinematography.
"Road to Perdition" is certainly the largest production to film here, but it is not the only film to use Geneva as its backdrop. Many filmmakers have found Geneva’s historic architecture, natural beauty and unique landmarks as great storytelling opportunities. Some other notable movies to shoot in Geneva include 2001’s "Novocaine" with Steve Martin and 2016’s "The Resurrection of Gavin Stone."
While some location scouts have discovered Geneva, others are unaware of its Hollywood potential. In an effort to promote the state as a filmmaking destination, the Illinois Film Office is expanding its location database and requesting submissions. The City is planning to freshen up the photos of its property in the database, but the rest is up to individual property owners.
If you own an interesting home, building or piece of land in Geneva that could make a good set for a film, please consider adding your property by submitting information to the Illinois Film Office database. The Film Office is searching for a wide variety of locations from picturesque suburban homes, industrial workshops, beautiful natural scenery, areas of blight, commercial storefronts and farm fields. Locations submitted to the database will be reviewed, and if they are selected, the Film Office will request pictures of the property. If you need assistance submitting your property, please email Cate Tracy at the City's Economic Development Department.
As another summer blockbuster season comes to an end, please consider this opportunity for your property. Your place could be featured on the next smash hit, and Geneva as a whole would benefit from the Hollywood publicity. The industry rate per day for rented homes or businesses is generally your monthly mortgage payment, providing a nice source of income. Also, the industry typically pays for hotel stays if you have to leave.
It is fun to imagine Paul Newman and Tom Hanks taking a lunch break at a Geneva restaurant. It would be great if a film crew landed in Geneva in the coming years. We hope you will help Geneva continue to make film history.