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ABC's 'Mind Games' Films Along Damen Avenue in Wicker Park

By Alisa Hauser | September 10, 2013 11:24am
 "Mind Games," an ABC television show starring Christian Slater is filming in Wicker Park Tuesday.
"Mind Games" Filming in Wicker Park
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WICKER PARK —  If bright lights and big cameras popping up on local streets are any indication, Hollywood likes Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town and Ukrainian Village.

Early Tuesday, film crews from 20th Century Fox Television arrived in the 1500 block of North Damen Avenue in Wicker Park to shoot a scene for "Mind Games," a workplace drama starring Christian Slater.

"Mind Games" is one of three television shows that has filmed in the area recently. "Chicago Fire," HGTV's "House Hunters" and "Chicago Fire" spinoff "Chicago PD" have also been drawn to the area.

Additionally, the cast and crew from "Transformers 4," filmed in a Ukrainian Village church Sunday, according to neighbors.

Estimated to bring millions of dollars into the economy as well as provide hundreds of local jobs, the filming is seen as a boon to the city.

"We’ve always known that Chicago has beautiful backdrops and a thriving creative community, and over the course of the last few years the film industry has made this discovery as well," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in July.

Around 9 a.m. Tuesday, several dozen extras were lined up in front of the shuttered Skewerz restaurant at 1560 N. Damen Ave., near the CTA's Damen Blue Line station.

A crew member confirmed that Slater would be in the area and that the filming would take place at several spots along Damen Avenue "on and off" throughout the day.

Bright orange notices posted to street poles and doors of businesses and residences informed locals of parking restrictions on Damen between Concord Place to the north to Schiller Avenue to the south through 11 p.m. Tuesday.

Elsewhere in the neighborhood, "Chicago PD" was shooting near Western Avenue and Hirsch Street in West Town Friday, according to a local resident who lives in the 1300 block of North Western Avenue.

"Chicago PD" moves on to Pilsen Wednesday, where it will be filming on Wood Street between 17th and 18th Streets.

On Monday in West Town, a couple looking for a new home shot scenes for HGTV's reality show "House Hunters" inside the recently opened Ugly Mug Cafe at 1458 W. Chicago Ave.

Realtor Greg Nagel who counsels the couple in the episode said the show plans to put a spotlight on homes and real estate in Ukrainian Village.