The Big Downtown Christmas (Charles Sharp, 1962)

THE BIG DOWNTOWN CHRISTMAS is a charming, and oh-so-Chicago, story of a boy who gets lost in the lights and smells of downtown Chicago at Christmas time. He is taken in by the famous holiday windows at Marshall Fields and various other downtown department stores on State Street and Michigan Avenue. Sharp captures all of the creativity, craftsmanship, and the mechanical spookiness of these animatronic displays. In a split-second conclusion, the boy discovers the meaning of the season as he finds his parents in the holiday crowds.

Directed by Charles D. Sharp, narrated by Burton Moore, sound by Jay Kaufman, the boy played by Eric Bettelheim, produced by Cameras International, Chicago.

Original: 16mm., Color, Sound, Found in Chicago Film Archives’ Charles Sharp (

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