Photos: Peek Inside Ferris Bueller's Bedroom, Recreated At A Loop Hotel
By Mae Rice in Arts & Entertainment on May 20, 2016 7:02PM
When you walk into Ferris Bueller's bedroom, congested snores are playing on the speakers, and a coffee-colored mannequin torso is sleeping soundly in the bed. It's not Ferris's real bedroom—that's in Lake Forest (inconvenient) and fictional (double inconvenient)—but it's an awfully authentic recreation. There's even an accurate, '80s-era computer programmed to show Ferris's absent days counting down on its screen, just like they do in the movie.
The recreation, which visitors can check out at the Virgin Hotels (203 N. Wabash Ave.), is part of Ferris Fest, a 30th-anniversary party for John Hughes' Ferris Bueller's Day Off that's taking over Chicago and Lake Forest this weekend. It's the creation of Toronto artist Sarah Keenlyside, who first exhibited the touring bedroom project in Toronto in January; in June, it's headed to Niagara Falls' Comic Con.
"I felt like if you're going to do this, then you might as well go all the way," Keenlyside told Chicagoist.
So go all the way she did. To find the right technology, she referenced a Wired story that broke down the exact gadgets Ferris had in his room, item by item. It shows; the sound system in Keenlyside's recreation "actually plays the waveform" of Ferris's snores, she pointed out. Keenlyside also recreated Ferris's wall art poster for poster, and even put the right tchotchkes on Ferris's nightstand, including the baseball he ultimately throws at his sound system and Jack Kerouac's The Town and the City .
Keenlyside did run into some logistical constraints. The TV, for instance, was too heavy to go on the proper shelf of the entertainment center, and she couldn't find an exact replica of Ferris's blanket (though she got dang close). Not every detail of the room is visible in the movie, either, so Keenlyside had to do a bit of guesswork. When she did, though, she tried to extrapolate from things she could see.
"A lot of the items in this room have a cowboy sort of reference to them," she said. Ferris's blanket in the movie, for instance is, a '40s-era camp blanket, and his parchment lamps have horsehoe-shaped bases and country scenes painted on their shades. Keenlyside used that the "Americana" vibe of those details as inspiration for the rest of the room.
And ultimately, serendipity was on her side. At one point, a woman reached out to Keenlyside on Instagram asking if she had Ferris's horse chair; the woman, who lives in Cary, IL, had an almost-exact replica that she had found in the trash. ("Her husband said there was a couch, too, but he wouldn't let her take it," Keenlyside said, laughing.) The reupholstered chair is a '40s-era wagon wheel design, which is very hard to come by—but the woman loaned it to Keenlyside for this project.
Now, it's just one of the room's spot-on details. "I think I nailed all the things that were really crucial in the room," Keenlyside said, and we agree. It's definitely worth going, sprawling out on the bed and taking a selfie with the mannequin. If you really want to honor Ferris Bueller's legacy, fake sick and go see it this afternoon.