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The 6 Best Concert Halls In Chicago


As a music city, Chicago is on a level with New York, Nashville and Los Angeles. We love the midsized venues the best as they combine classic architecture with modern acoustics to provide a stellar concert experience. They can also be linchpins to nearby development. Here are our six favorites.

1. The Chicago Theatre


Location: 175 N State St

History: Built in 1921 as the flagship theater for the Balaban and Katz movie house franchise, the Chicago Theatre was named a national landmark in 1979. The city followed suit in 1983. Its iconic marquee is recognizable the world over and is used in local tourism campaigns, while the theater itself hosts a wide range of programming.

Nearby Developments: State Street is that great street these days. The most notable nearby development is Marquee at Block 37, Golub's 690-unit apartment tower expected to open in June.

2. Concord Music Hall


Location: 2047 N Milwaukee Ave

History: This Logan Square venue quietly opened in 2013 and quickly absorbed most of the music programming. Concord Music Hall is capable of hosting shows ranging from 700 to 1,600 guests.

Nearby Developments: Logan Square is where every developer wants to be now, with an influx of multifamily and mixed-use TODs planned along Milwaukee Avenue.

3. Metro


Location: 3730 N Clark St

History: Originally built in 1927 as a community center for Swedish immigrants, Metro was a jazz club when owner Joe Shanahan bought it in 1982. Joe promptly turned it into a live music house featuring a variety of local and national acts. The building also houses Smart Bar, a basement-level dance club.

Nearby Developments: Metro is one block north of Wrigley Field, which is in the middle of a $575M renovation project. M&R Development's Addison & Clark redevelopment is set to begin this summer.

4. The Riviera Theatre


Location: 4746 N Racine

History: Built in 1917, the Riviera was another Balaban and Katz movie house. It became a nightclub and concert venue in 1986. Owned by Jam Productions, it hosts an eclectic array of music acts.

Nearby Developments: The Riv is surrounded by Cedar Street's redevelopments of nearby apartment buildings and mixed-use properties. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has plans for the Riviera and nearby Aragon Ballroom to serve as the foundation for an Uptown entertainment district.

5. Thalia Hall


Location: 1807 S Allport

History: This Pilsen venue's life began in 1892 as an opera house. It fell into disrepair for decades until Blue Star Properties bought the building and restored it, emphasizing the venue's pristine acoustics. Thalia Hall reopened in 2014.

Nearby Developments:  Many developers call Pilsen the next big neighborhood, with several warehouse-to-multifamily conversions in the works. Thalia Hall itself is a success story; the building also houses several popular retail storefronts, including Dusek's Board & Beer restaurant and subterranean tavern Punch House.

6. The Vic Theatre


Location: 3145 N Sheffield Ave

History: The Victoria Theatre opened in 1912 as a vaudeville house. The Vic is used for concerts (it can seat 1,000 and host up to 1,400 people) and is home to the popular "Brew & View" movie series.

Nearby Developments: The Vic's Lakeview neighborhood has arguably been overdeveloped over the past two decades. One notable project in the works is the mixed-use TOD replacing an iconic retailer, The Alley.