Essanay Studios


Back before the talkies made silent film obsolete, Chicago reigned supreme as the number-one producer of movie magic in the USA. Essanay churned out silent films with soon-to-be household names like WC Fields and Charlie Chaplin. Filming took place at the big studio that was located here. Essanay’s terra-cotta Indian head logo remains above the door at 1345 Argyle.

These days, the building belongs to a local college. Essanay folded in 1917, about the time that many of its actors were being lured to the bright lights of a still-nascent Hollywood.