Uncle Buck

There is another website totally dedicated to all of the John Hughes Movies. It has more in depth information on the locations plus a lot more stuff on each of the movies. You can check it out here: John Hughes Filming Locations

  • (0:05)  The Bar / Emmits Irish Pub; 495 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago

  • (0:10)  Uncle Buck's Apartment Building / 3708 N. Sheffield Avenue, Chicago

  • (0:14)  Buck At The Wrong House / 2609 Lincoln Street, Evanston

  • (0:15)  The Russell Residence / 2602 Lincoln Street, Evanston

  • (0:24)  Buck's Car Backfiring At The High School / New Trier West High School; 7 Happ Road, Northfield

  • (0:26)  Garage / Firestone Auto Care; 8801 Skokie Blvd, Skokie

  • (0:43)  The Bowling Alley / Palace Bowl; 5242 W. 25th Street, Cicero (Note: This Has Since Been Torn Down. Also There Are Rumors That This Was The Old Windy City Lanes But The Exterior Is The Palace Bowl)

  • (0:51)  Stone Building In A Forest Preserve / Dam #1 Woods Forest Preserve West; Just East Of The Des Plaines River Straight East Of E. Hintz Road, Wheeling (The Road Buck Drives Up To The Building Is Entered From Dundee Road.) (Note: The Building Has Been Remodeled Since The Movie Due To A Fire)

  • (0:56)  Buck Visiting The Elementary School / Romona School; 600 Romona Road, Wilmette

  • (1:18)  The Party House / 2224 Crabtree Lane, Northbrook

  • (1:21)  Tia Walking Home Being Followed By Buck / Chase Bank; 791 Elm Street, Winnetka


  1. Love it! Did you not get photos of inside the school? I couldn't be that close without checking the principal's office too

  2. Very interesting to compare the locations between then and now. Amazing how little has changed in 24 years.

  3. Love it and this movie.

  4. I miss John Candy, he was great

  5. I miss John Candy too. What a great actor!

  6. Although I have seen this movie many times, it is a tradition within my family to see it on Thanksgiving Day... I live about 1 1//2 hours from Chicago and we decided to take a trip to Wisconsin on highway 41....We somehow took a wrong turn (not hard to do in the Chicago land) and by chance went by the Home Alone House. When I got home and did some search I was surprised how close these two houses and locations are to Home Alone and Unlce Buck....its worth taking the trip to find these locations and that area is just beautiful!!!!! Will need to go back to find the rest of the locations. Thanks for the help.... I too also miss John Candy....he was great in everything he did....he made me laugh....

  7. I used to work there in my high school days but when the movie was filmed I was a U.S Paratrooper serving overseas john candy was one of my favorite actors I lived two blocks from bowling alley on 25th. and Laramie also three brothers owned palace bowl palace manor and a lot of property palace regency on cermak ed Charlie and chuck matt owned them a couple brothers where in the movie uncle buck.

  8. on IMDB it says some of Uncle buck was filmed in Riverwoods. Do you happen to know what scene was filmed there?

  9. What a tradgedy to lose the bowling alley to the wrecking ball.something like that cant ever be rrplaced.

  10. The interiors at Romona School are all genuine. I attended from 1965-1971 and the cafeteria, principal's office, and admin office waiting areas are the real deal, as are the hallways and boys bathroom, though back in my day, we didn't have doors on the stalls.

    The NTW exteriors take me back, too. Buck drops Tia at the main entrance on Happ Rd. On the left is the SM (science and math) building, and straight back is the LA (library and administration) building. To the right is the MD (music and drama) building.

    I was shocked to see the same floor tile at Romona, since I attended through 1971, and the film was shot in the 80's. I have noted that John Hughes used lots of genuine North Shore locations in his films.

  11. I was John Candy’s stand-in on Uncle Buck – part 1

    I was an extra on Uncle Buck and also worked as a stand-in for John Candy on a number of the scenes shot “inside the house.” It was my only experience working on a movie set, as my mother had responded to an ad that had been placed in our local paper looking for someone who resembled John Candy in size and appearance. I then received a call from a casting agent who invited me to meet at a room in New Trier West High School, which was unused at that time due to demographic changes in the area.

    Turns out they were trying to save the expense of bringing John Candy’s usual stand-in from California, by hiring a local nobody who looked like him. I found myself in line in a hallway with a dozen other guys who roughly resembled Mr. Candy. One-by-one, we were taken into a room where we were asked to put on a fat suit (he was a really big guy!), his shoes, and his overcoat for a series of polaroid pictures. For some of the pictures, they had me wear his hat as well. I was thanked and told I’d be called if they needed me. I figured I’d gotten a small glimpse inside the world of movies, but would never hear from them again.

    A few weeks later, however, I got another call, asking if I would be available to do a few days of stand-in work for John Candy. Turns out they ended up bringing in his usual stand-in/double/stuntman from Hollywood, but needed an extra stand-in while his double did stunt work and second unit driving scenes. I would literally stand in John Candy’s place, while the scene was set up and lit. As I had never done this before, I was told in no uncertain terms that this was a job and I was not to bother the “talent” as I walked off a set and he walked on. John Candy seemed like a really nice guy, and we exchanged low-key “hellos” as we passed once, but I did not want to get thrown off the set, and did not have any contact with him beyond that.

    All of the house interior sets were built inside the empty gymnasium of New Trier West, which amazed me…any of the walls or ceilings could be removed to allow shooting from whatever angle they needed. I was used to set up several scenes. One was a scene set in the bathroom where Buck has this suitcase-sized travel bag and pulls enormous bottles of Listerine, shampoo and other items out of it, he also cuts himself repeatedly while shaving and has little bits of TP all over his face. This scene was cut from the movie, but appears in the trailer.

    I was also used to set up the giant pancake scene in the kitchen, but the most memorable by far was the dragnet-style interrogation scene between John Candy and Macaulay Culkin. I was seated at the kitchen table with a female little person (she was a child actor stand-in as the hours are limited that a kid can be on set) while John Hughes and his team planned how the scene was going to go…the angles, the cuts, etc…it was fascinating!

    While not on set, I was welcomed to eat from the craft services table (which was an amazing spread) and chatted with the crew…really regular people who spent much of their spare time on the set playing liar’s poker (I came out ahead!). I also got to see Macaulay Culkin and Gabby Hoffman running around in the school in their robes, and the actor playing the dad walking around with makeup tissues sticking out of his collar. I was there 12-14 hours each day, as was most everyone else, who got double-time after 8 hours…easy to see why a movie costs millions to make! The catering trucks were from California, and the cast ate first, followed by the crew, and then any extras or stand-ins…the food was amazing!

    After about a week of this, I was told Mr. Candy’s double was again available for stand-in work, and I would no longer be needed. I thanked them for the experience (and pay, which was much better than my regular job back then!) and figured my brush with Hollywood was over.

  12. I was John Candy’s stand-in on Uncle Buck – part 2

    But a couple of weeks later, I got another call asking if I would be interested in being an extra in a bowling alley scene. Seems they thought it might be fun to have a team of 5 big guys in the alley while Buck is bowling. So me and 4 of the other guys that responded to the original stand-in call, spent two 14-hour days in a Cicero bowling alley wearing red bowling shirts with a big “5 Aces” logo on the back. It was kind of a dive, has since been torn down, and did not have the big marquee out front shown in the movie.

    It was cool to be on set as they were filming…each shot was done multiple times, in different ways, sometimes with different dialog. They must have shot the secret handshake scene with Buck and his buddy a dozen times, each seemingly with a different set of steps and phrases. When they were filming, all of the extras were told to be totally quiet and fake conversation, and if you were bowling, you had to put the balls down as lightly as possible so they could be caught by stagehands standing on the lanes, just out of camera range.

    At the end of the first day, we were told to return our bowling shirts and come back tomorrow. The 5 Aces thought it would be fun to bring them home and show our friend/families, but got read the riot act by the prop master the next day….luckily they didn’t fire us.

    The second day, John Candy’s wife and two young kids visited the set. As he was busy most of the time, another “Ace” and I ended up playing War with his kids with the cards we had, and talking to his wife for a good two hours or so. She was a really nice, down-to-earth lady, and I sadly thought of her and her kids first when I first heard that John Candy had died years later.

    When shooting wrapped the second day, we reluctantly turned in our shirts, and went back to our regular lives. My Mom went to see Uncle Buck the day it was released, and reportedly scared other patrons by screaming in the theater when a scene I was in came on the screen. I thought I might be able to be seen in the background somewhere, but as luck would have it, I am one of the three guys shown toasting and drinking beers immediately after Buck rolls a strike.

    If you look closely, I am the one with his thumb clearly over the mouth of the bottle as I pretend to drink…that bottle had been on the set for 2 days, handled by who knows who, and I was not about to let it actually touch my lips. That scene remains my 15 seconds of fame, and just this past weekend I got a text from a college friend and an email from a business acquaintance who wanted to let me know that they had seen me on TV, watching Uncle Buck on AMC…

    1. Thank you for the great stories.

    2. this was a really excellent read! So much love for John and this movie.

    3. Those are some great stories!

  13. Fact: the scenes inside of the bowling alley were in Windy City Bowling on 21st and Cicero Avenue in Cicero, IL. The exterior shots of Palace Bowl were on 25th Street also in Cicero.

  14. Does anybody know where “the golf lesson” part was filmed at the end. My family and I are at the “burying the hatchet” Forest Preserve spot was at the moment.

  15. At 01:15:46 Buck is driving to the party to find Tia. Upon looking closer & checking google maps to verify, I discovered he is driving on Hiawatha Ave. & crosses Lightfoot Ave. This scene is just previous to the people who pull up next to him in a separate car and inform him his car “is on fire”.

  16. The cut grocery store store scene was in grand foods (not sure of the name then) in Winnetka. It is still in the trailer. I was there. It was open during shooting — just dont go down that aisle please.