No need to look far and wide, a glamorous piece of history is right here in our own backyard. Become a tourist for a day by visiting the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum in downtown Niles Boulevard.
The world renowned museum is famous for preserving and playing hundreds of silent movies from the 1900s — some of which were shot right here in Niles.
In fact, cinema icon, Charlie Chaplin stayed in Niles to shoot his legendary films including the most memorable one, "The Tramp".
The world's first western movie star, "Broncho Billy" was also no stranger to the neighborhood.
Niles "Essanay" stems from the production company, Essanay Studios, which held its film production in Niles in the 1910s. During the height of its success, a movie theater was built to hold the screenings of the produced films. Today, that same theater was rebuilt and restored to play the movies made 100 years ago.
Every Saturday night, for a suggested donation of $5, visitors get to relieve the silent movie experience accompanied with live piano music.
The museum/theater is run mostly by volunteers. It receives funding from private and public donations as well as from grants.
Reporter Richgail Enriquez was at one of the screenings and has more on the video report above.