TV, Film Biz Booms in Chicago as Cinespace Expands into Lawndale

Magic is made on the stages of Cinespace Studios Chicago.

Since the former steel mill was converted into a movie studio, Chicago’s production industry has skyrocketed.

Alex Pissios is the CEO of Cinespace Chicago Film Studios.

"We came down here and started building one stage and two stages and the shows kept coming," he said.

There are 31 stages at Cinespace, but since 2011 the business has grown.

That’s why Thursday it was announced they are branching out adding a new studio in Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood.

"We don’t turn away business in the city of Chicago," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "We make things here."

Rich Moskal works in the Chicago Film Office.

"It sounds cliche but this is a dream come true," he said. "There are a lot if people working behind the scenes for many many years."

This will be one of the busiest production years ever for Chicago with nine active series filming here and students training for the industry.

Caitlyn Pressburg is a DePaul University student director.

"To be honest this is the only school that lets me rent out an Alexa or an Amira, which are the cameras that are used on shows like 'Chicago PD'," she said.

One reason Chicago and Illinois are so popular is a filmmakers credit, one lawmakers hope to make permanent.

"It’s everything," Pissios said. "Without the tax credit there is no business. That’s absolutely true."

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