Chicago movies, TV sees record year; Film industry spent $358M in IL

Governor Pat Quinn announced that the Illinois film industry generated millions of dollars in spending in 2013.
January 21, 2014 3:33:36 PM PST
Illinois may be trying to close big budget gaps, but one state office is making money off of movies and lots of it. Governor Pat Quinn says movie revenues doubled last year in the city of Chicago.

Gov. Quinn announced that the Illinois film industry generated millions of dollars in spending in 2013.

"This past year we had a record breaking year in movie and TV production: $358 million was spent on productions here in Illinois, about two-thirds of that $200 million was spent on wages," said Gov. Quinn.

Contributing to the increase are television series, like "Mind Games," and movies, such as "Transformers."

Chicago has the biggest sound stage outside of Hollywood. Cinespace Chicago is located on close to 50 acres at the site of the old Ryerson Steel property on the Near West Side. The governor says the film industry growth in chicago has resulted in more than 4,200 full-time jobs.

"We are so excited. What these numbers represent is the tremendous growth in our industry and it's all about the local jobs it provides," said Betsy Steinberg, Illinois Film Office.

Steinberg says the Cinespace complex vastly increases the state's capacity to handle major productions and create jobs. Alex Pissios, president of Cinespace, says the film studio was the creation of his uncle, a Toronto-based studio chief who recently passed away.

"He would be walking up the stages here and laborers and workers would come to him and say 'Nick, thank you for doing this, I could pay my mortgages and pay for my kids colleges.' That is what Nick loved more than anything, to see that he was helping people," said Pissios.

The IFO says the Illinois film tax credit signed and extended by Governor Quinn has been instrumental in spurring growth of the state's film industry.