Vic Theatre

3145 N. Sheffield Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60657

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Showing 1 - 25 of 39 comments

DavidZornig on January 17, 2019 at 2:54 pm

Just found out that Clubland was a concept in Detroit as well. It was “Clubland at the State Theatre”, 2115 Woodward Avenue. The image used the exact same candy cane font as Clubland at the Vic

GFeret on July 22, 2016 at 11:21 am

the balcony is open. I saw a movie at the Vic a month or two ago and the main floor area was closed-off and seating was now only in balcony (not sure why all this was but really doesn’t matter). Really neat IMO though, because the railings, staggered seats, lighted steps were still in their original style. At the low admission price the film was a terrific deal

Broan on January 17, 2016 at 1:27 pm

The American on Ashland bore a strong resemblance to the Vic in form

Broan on August 30, 2015 at 9:41 am

Added a Chicago Tribune announcement which credited John Eberson as architect.

LouRugani on January 16, 2013 at 7:55 pm

I put together an online memorial to Walter Klein, Jr. Comments and remembrances are welcome.

CSWalczak on December 7, 2012 at 9:25 pm

The Vic is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. This article points out the bits and pieces of some lost Chicago theaters have been incorporated in the Vic. A recent interior picture can be seen here.

Broan on October 17, 2011 at 10:33 am

I added a photo of the old marquee before it was ruined.

Ramova7719 on August 12, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Facebook page is vic theatre chicago Il

Broan on August 4, 2011 at 9:20 am

Here’s a photo showing the old L-side marquee:

DavidZornig on May 5, 2011 at 7:30 pm

There is currently some roof top mounted scaffolding above The Vic’s East elevation. Visible from the “L” tracks, it might be for restoration work to the coping stones around the roof’s perimeter. Or possibly to haul up materials for the roof itself. Either way, great to see maintenance is ongoing.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on November 22, 2010 at 6:50 am

I saw Richard Thompson here in concert recently. The facility was okay, but the acoustics were terrible. Previously I’d only been here for Brew-n-View.

DavidZornig on February 3, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Thanks for posting that RickB.
It’s a shame that it’s the first and only time that Mr. Klein’s name or his ownership of the Vic has been mentioned so far.
When certainly it was his purchase of it in `83 according to the obit, that in hindsight likely saved the theater forever.
If only that same vision had been applied to the Uptown at the same time.

RickB on February 3, 2010 at 8:31 am

Walter Klein Jr., the owner who restored and reopened the Vic in the 1980s, died January 21 in Arizona. A colorful obit may be found here.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on January 15, 2010 at 11:39 pm

If you ever get a chance, stand on the northern portion of the southbound L platform. Now, look south on the northern side of the Vic Theatre building. If you look very carefully, you will see an old, ghost sign on the brick wall. You will vaguely see the word “photo play.”

DavidZornig on April 7, 2009 at 11:51 am

Reactivate notificaton status.

Broan on November 10, 2008 at 9:47 pm

Correct. There are a few other really nice articles about it. It was a very cool theater.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on November 10, 2008 at 9:00 pm

That’s the one I was thinking of (Jan 21 08 post). Haven’t seen pictures of it in years. Nice find Brian.

I wonder why it hasn’t been added on this site. Never a movie theatre maybe?

DavidZornig on October 30, 2008 at 10:47 pm

P.S. I like the 1972 CTA picture of the Vic’s back wall in Bryan’s 2004 post. Complete with Hydra swooping in to attack the Southbound train.

I also just remembered that long time Lincoln Ave. hamburger shop Muskies, had their 2nd location in the corner space just North of the Vic. Where Bank of America is now.
Muskies closed after what else, a fire.

DavidZornig on August 19, 2008 at 6:03 pm

Hello Cinema Treasurers. The Vic Theatre also had a run as a night club from the mid to late 1980’s. It’s current function as a concert venue was after that, closer to 1990.
In 1985 or a little earlier, The Vic was transformed into a place called “Clubland”. A giant red & white candy cane was their logo on the marquee. This makeover was also the original source of the interior neon lighting, that remains today over the main level bars. However back then the neon was originally faced with white lucite. To create that kind of milky colored, vintage juke box glow.

The lucite was then removed exposing the neon when in 1988 or so, it briefly took on the name “The Catwalk at Clubland”. I think Clubland was nearing it’s twilight. So it either was trying to spark interest by changing up the theme, or was leasing out their own space to other promoters. Similar to The Metro in the early `80’s calling their bar in the basement “Reds”, on a selected off night.
There was an attractive, local print model named Shanty or something, that was somehow involved in The Catwalk at Clubland opening.

The actual overhead/stage catwalks were pivotal during the Clubland days. Employees, servers etc. would perform dance routines on them at various times to the DJ’d music. Behind them on the walls were giant monitors that showcased bar like festivities. With comments edited in occasionally, years before Pop-Up Video. “She snores”, “he sleeps with lights on”, etc. All comedic stuff to make the regulars and partygoers feel as one. At pre-determined times, the staff would do those specific catwalk dance routines. Like those back in the day at Walter Payton’s America’s Bar on Erie. Waitstaff danced on interior walls to “Greased Lightning”, etc.

As Clubland, I seem to remember they occasionally added live bands. Though it consistently stayed open as just a giant bar. The Catwalk name didn’t last long, and it was back to The Vic, and as the concert venue it is now.

I remember once reading that a rare performance by Rickie Lee Jones was cancelled at The Vic. When she overheard some trains rustling by during rehearsal. Someone had briefly propped open an alley door to dump trash or something. It was explained to her, but she’d have none of it.

The Brew & View portion appears quite consistent and successful. I remember seeing some double features there over 15 years ago. Booze & View is what we called it. Next door overlooking and with it’s entrance on Belmont, was a place called Tuts then Avalon. I think it’s a tanning salon or something now.

LouRugani on February 4, 2008 at 4:37 pm

That’s correct; it was indeed the Bharat Cinema by June of 1977, and before that it was the Roberto Clemente Theatre. Thanks.

RickB on January 27, 2008 at 7:22 pm

Following up on one of the posts from 2006: if memory serves the Indian-film venture from the late ‘70s used the name “Bharat Cinema.” The building had signage with that name but also a sign calling it the Vic—probably a leftover from the porn operation.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm

Brian: wasn’t there a 1920’s-vintage Pridmore theatre on Sheffield just south of Fullerton, where some new De Paul University buildings now stand? This would be on the east side of the street backing up against the El.