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Lights, Camera, Action! Discover St. Charles, IL on the Silver Screen

Grab some popcorn, a soda, and a box of your favorite candy because we are about to dive into some notable times that St. Charles, IL has shined on the silver screen, as well as an insider's look at the upcoming AfterImage Film Festival. It's always exciting to see the city you know and love displayed for all to see, whether it be a major box office movie, a popular comedy special, or in a commercial. So, find your seat and silence your cell-phones because this show is about to begin!

The Killer (2023)

Photo Courtesy of IMDb

Set to release on Netflix in November of this year, "The Killer" revolves around an assassin (played by Michael Fassbender) who begins to develop a moral compass, even when his clients still need him to fulfill his services. You may even remember the recent filming of it in downtown St. Charles in March of 2022. This stylish thriller, directed by David Fincher, features scenes at the historic Hotel Baker downtown along the Fox River, which will have an estimated 15 minutes of screen time.

Toyota GR86 Commercial (2022)

Photos Courtesy of Toyota

In 2022, Toyota took to St. Charles for their commercial in order to get enthusiasts excited about the GR86 sports car. The location chosen was none other than the Charlestowne Mall, just east of downtown. In the ad, a focus group brainstorms different ways to showcase the car's features, while the vehicle races, drifts, and even jumps through the mall's interior.

Watch the Toyota GR86 Commercial (YouTube)

Coca-Cola Super Bowl 50 Commercial (2016)

Photo Courtesy of Coca Cola and Screen Rant Plus via Youtube

While this Super Bowl Coca-Cola commercial was not filmed in St. Charles, it does feature a really neat product placement that we were thrilled to see. Sure, this ad may have the Incredible Hulk and Ant Man, however, the real star of the show is found at the beginning of the commercial, as you can catch a glimpse of a bottle of Gindo's Hot Sauce - a local St. Charles business.

Watch the Coca-Cola Super Bowl 50 Commercial Here (YouTube)

Munger Road (2012)

Photos Courtesy of Munger Road

Written and directed by St. Charles native, Nicholas Smith, "Munger Road" tells the story of two teenage couples that are looking to test the local urban legend of Munger Road on the night before the St. Charles Scarecrow Fest (now known as Scarecrow Weekend). However, unexpected circumstances arise, causing this activity to not go as planned. With a good amount of the movie being filmed in St. Charles, you'll notice familiar spots around town such as Smitty's on the Corner, and plenty of shots right on Main Street in front of the Municipal Building.

How to Watch "Munger Road"

What's Your Favorite Weekend Activity?

  • Going to the Movie Theatre

  • Spending Time Outdoors

  • Catching Some Live Music

  • Trying New Restaurants

Joan Rivers: Don't Start with Me (2012)

Photos Courtesy of IMDb and Pluto TV

St. Charles' very own Arcada Theatre was the film location for the 2012 Showtime Comedy Special "Joan Rivers: Don't Start with Me". She performed two, hour-long sets, both of which were sold out. The audiences left in stitches, laughing through all the hilarious (and sometimes controversial) jokes that she would tell.

How to Watch "Joan Rivers: Don't Start with Me

Bad Boys (1983)

Photos Courtesy of IMDb

Released in 1983, "Bad Boys" is a movie that centers around a teenage delinquent (played by Sean Penn) who is sentenced to the Rainfield Juvenile Correctional Facility after committing a serious crime. This facility is actually the Illinois Youth Center in St. Charles, where much of the movie was filmed. With currently having a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, this movie is definitely worth watching.

How to Watch "Bad Boys"

Coach of the Year (1980)

Photo Courtesy of IMDb

"Coach of the Year" tells the story of a former Chicago Bears football player who returns home after being injured in the Vietnam War. After struggling to land himself a football coaching position, he eventually lands a position at a juvenile reform school. Struggling to be accepted by the boys, he does everything he can to earn their trust. Much of the film was shot at the Illinois Youth Center in St. Charles, which serves as the setting for the juvenile reform school.

How to Watch "Coach of the Year"


AfterImage Film Festival

Photo Courtesy of the AfterImage Film Festival

The AfterImage Film Festival is coming to St. Charles from Thursday, April 13th - Sunday, April 16th at the Charlestown Cinema. This annual celebration showcases independent films from both local and international filmmakers. In addition to the fantastic cinema, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in Q&A sessions with the filmmakers proceeding certain screenings. Take a look at some of the "must-see" highlights of this year's festival below.

Opening Night - A Compassionate Spy (2022)

Photos Courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes

Don't miss out on celebrating the Opening Night of the third annual AfterImage Film Festival. On Thursday, April 13th starting at 6pm at the Charlestowne Cinema, there will be an open bar and a selection of small plates for guests in attendance. At 7:30pm, there will be a screening of "A Compassionate Spy". This documentary tells the story of young College graduate who was picked at just 19 years old to work on the Manhattan Project to build the first Atomic Bomb. Afterwards, there will be a Q&A session with Steve James, an Oscar-winning filmmaker, and the director and producer of this documentary.

Purchase Your Tickets to Opening Night

Paper Planes (2023)

Photos Courtesy of IMDb and @whitecitycinema

Catch the world premier of "Paper Planes", with two screenings - Saturday, April 15th at 6pm and Sunday, April 16th at 2pm. This 17-minute film follows the story of a woman with agoraphobia and an Airbnb guest across the hall who develop a correspondence over the holidays. Stay after the film to participate in a Filmmaker Q&A session that follows both screenings.

Purchase Your Tickets to "Paper Planes"

Nuisance Bear (2021)

Photos Courtesy of IMDb

"Nuisance Bear" is a short documentary film that is set in Churchill, Manitoba Canada. What's so unique about this area is that every year Polar Bears migrate through the town on their way to their winter feeding grounds on the Hudson Bay. This documentary discusses the benefits of the bear's migration path, including the positive impact that tourism has on the local economy. On the other hand, this also presents some issues, as well, especially when it comes to individuals coexisting with nature. This Oscar-shortlisted documentary has been nominated for 25+ awards since 2021, and is surely one that you will not want to miss.

Purchase Your Tickets to "Nuisance Bear"

For more information on the AfterImage Film Festival, including a complete list of movies, showtimes, and to purchase your tickets, please visit their website here.

Trying to find ways to celebrate the Easter season? Take a look at the many sales & specials local St. Charles businesses are having in honor of the festivities.

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