The Color Of Money | 1986
Although it’s set all over the States, the locations for The Color of Money – Martin Scorsese’s kinetically thrilling follow up to Robert Rossen’s 1961 The Hustler – can be found almost entirely around Chicago.
Though the story takes off from Chicago and heads across the States to the Atlantic City tournament, it was filmed on real locations almost entirely in the Windy City itself.
Established as a pool hall in 1915, you can see Fitzgeralds as the 'Suds Bucket', site of the raucous dance, in Penny Marshall’s A League Of Their Own, as well as in Michael Apted's Blink and Chris Columbus's Adventures in Babysitting.
The ‘Sir Loin Inn’, where Eddie takes Vincent and his girlfriend Carmen (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) for a meal and a lesson in human moves, is O’Briens Steakhouse, 1528 North Wells Street near West North Avenue in the Old Town district.
Real pool halls include St Paul’s Billiards (formerly the Vaudeville Theatre), 1415 West Fullerton Avenue in Lincoln Park-De Paul, where Vincent gets beaten up. It’s currently closed and empty.
Chris’s Billiards, 4637 North Milwaukee Avenue between Laurence and Montrose in northwest Chicago, though, is still going strong. The hall is in the same neighbourhood as the Portage Theatre, which doubled for the interior of the ‘Biograph’ cinema in Michael Mann’s Public Enemies.
It was at the now-demolished North Center Bowl, which stood at 4017 North Lincoln Avenue, where a disillusioned Eddie finally ditches Vincent.
More scenes were filmed at the, now sadly closed, German oompah restaurant Zum Deutschen Eck, 2924 North Southport Avenue at Diversey in north Chicago.
Although there are establishing shots of the hotel, the giant arched hall of the climactic poolathon is the Ballroom of the Navy Pier, east of the Streeterville district. This 3,000 foot pier was built in 1916 (it was intended to be one of a pair but its partner never materialised) when Lake Michigan was used for commercial shipping. Post-thirties it fell into decline, until major renovations in 1976. The pier entrance is on Streeter Drive at 600 East Grand Avenue near lake Shore Drive just north of the Chicago River. The pier is more recently featured in The Dark Knight.
Similarly, Vincent’s ‘Atlantic City’ hotel can be found in the Windy City It’s the historic Renaissance Blackstone Hotel, 636 South Michigan Avenue at East Balbo Drive – it’s the same venue that hosted the bloody banquet in Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables and is also seen in Joel and Ethan Coen’s The Hudsucker Proxy.