Chicago neighborhood ‘props’ up a hidden gem

By Jacqueline Luttrell, Photojournalist

Hidden in the Bridgeport neighborhood is the largest prop house of vintage items in Chicago.

With 36,000 square feet of items, Zap Props, 3611 S. Loomis Place, has supplied the film and TV industry with props for more than 30 years. Its items have been in movies and shows such as “A League of Their Own,” “Empire” and “Chicago Fire.” For students in the South Loop, it is a short trip on the Orange Line and the #9 Ashland bus to get there.

Zap Props, which has rented to Columbia students in the past, has a seven-day base rental period.

The dusty aisles are little slices of nostalgia, filled with street signs, old globes and even a wooden Donald Duck replica. Items are stacked nearly to the ceiling, including old refrigerators, a hanging display of meat and photos of various hair styles.