Rising from the ashes, Second City unveils new film school

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The center will not only continue to train comics, but honor the late Harold Ramis by also housing the world's first film school focused on comedy. (WLS)

The Second City Chicago unveiled a multimillion dollar re-do after a disastrous fire last summer. Included in the new space is a film school like no other, dedicated to one of our city's comic geniuses.

On Friday night, a brand-spanking new training center for The Second City took a bow.

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Rising from the ashes of last August's fire that destroyed offices and classrooms, this center will not only continue to train comics, but also honor the late Harold Ramis by housing the world's first film school focused on comedy.

"I feel like it's an opportunity to keep Harold alive and to pass on some of his brilliance, like a spring of Tinkerbell dust. And I really believe great things can happen here," said Erica Mann Ramis, Harold's wife.

A lecture hall and screening room are among the creative film school spaces. Classes will begin in September. For the training center, included are two new small replicas of Second City's Mainstage.

"There's more classrooms, there's more media technology so people can access video quicker. It's a much brighter facility," said Andrew Alexander, Second City CEO.

Besides the training center and film school, there's a new restaurant and bar called 1959, the year The Second City was founded.

"You have to understand, when I started here, there were six actors and a staff of six," company member Tim Kazurinsky said.

Sometimes, comedy can come out of tragedy.
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