2820 Vine Street,
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Built in 1902 initially as a funeral home and a morgue, with a large center door to accomodate horse and livery vehicles. In the mid-1970’s, this building was converted into a three-screen theatre with each small auditorium given its own name, i.e. the Bijou, the Roxy, and the Ritz. I remember hearing their radio advertisements on the local album rock stations – they catered to the college and “head” crowd playing art and cult films like Bergman’s “The Serpent’s Egg”, though a woman on a Cincinnati building survey blog claims she also saw “Star Wars” there. They may well have even had initial screenings of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” before it moved to its longtime home at the Skywalk Cinemas downtown.
By the late-1970’s, they gave up movie programming and gutted the space for a nightclub; the various names it operated under were Top Cats' and Shipley’s.
Currently, this building is known as the 86 Club, an alcohol-free venue that caters to the 16 and over crowd with mostly punk rock and metal shows, and has garnered kudos for their outreach to the local community and at-risk youth. The name originated from its previous incarnation as 86 Ministries, so named for helping people who feel they’ve been “86'ed” from family or society.
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