Apr 26, 2024 - Culture

Chicago classic "Uncle Buck" turns 35

Guy grabbing lapels of clown

John Candy in "Uncle Buck." Photo: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Friday Film Club is a monthly series revisiting filming locations from Chicago classics, and today we're commemorating "Uncle Buck."

🍿 First up: "Uncle Buck."

The big picture: The John Hughes film starring John Candy and Macaulay Culkin is celebrating its 35th anniversary.

  • It's a story about a bachelor uncle who has to watch his sister's kids due to an emergency. Heartfelt hilarity ensues.

The intrigue: Did you know that almost the entire movie was shot in metro Chicago? Of course you did.

  • We fanned out around the area to revisit some of the locations to see how they've held up.

The family home

2602 Lincoln St., Evanston

big white house
Justin waits for Uncle Buck to come shoo him away with a drill. Photo: Justin Kaufmann/Axios

The house where Uncle Buck came to watch his sister's kids is in Evanston. They used the porch for the scene where Buck beats up a clown.

  • There are a few north suburban houses in the film, including the teenage party house located in Northbrook.

Buck's Wrigleyville apartment

3700 N. Sheffield Ave.

football field
We don't remember $40 dollar parking at Wrigley in 1989. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Buck, a bachelor, lived near Wrigley Field at the corner building of Waveland and Sheffield avenues. The building now has rooftop bleachers.

The elementary school

600 Romona Road, Wilmette

Buck parked his car where Justin stands. Photo: Justin Kaufmann/Axios

Romona Elementary in Wilmette is where Buck gave the assistant principal a quarter to "go downtown and have a rat gnaw that thing off your face."

Tia at the forest preserve

Dam No. 1 Woods Forest Preserve, Wheeling

Forest preserve shelter
Justin was hoping he would find Bug. Photo: Justin Kaufmann/Axios

Teenage angst is on full display as Buck tries to pick up Tia from a forest preserve picnic area after hours.

  • The old park building was remodeled after the filming, but this park area off the Des Plaines River is the spot.

Buck catches up to Tia

791 Elm St., Winnetka

Guy in front of building
The bricked-in bay windows still remain 35 years later. Photo: Justin Kaufmann/Axios

When Buck finally finds Tia, she is walking down a dark street past what was called the "Winnetka Bank."

  • Today, it's the Chase Bank in downtown Winnetka.

The bowling alley

5242 W. 25th St., Cicero

lady in parking lot
Carrie does her best impression of a bowling Buck in the parking lot that used to house the Cicero bowling alley. Photo: Carrie Shepherd/Axios

Buck brings the kids to his bowling alley located along 25th Street in Cicero.

  • Unfortunately not long after shooting, The Palace Bowl (actually called the Bowling Arena) was torn down. It's now a parking lot.

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