• Outside of the Riv
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    8 Photos
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    8 Photos

Riviera Theater

40 reviews on TripAdvisor
Theater
·$$
This venue showcases some of the most famous acts in rock music. Dating back to 1917, this eye-catching building is equipped with lush balcony seats and VIP-box... more
This venue showcases some of the most famous acts in rock music. Dating back to 1917, this eye-catching building is equipped with lush balcony seats and VIP-boxes. Its lower arena is usually filled with grungy teens or punk rockers ready to mosh. The Riviera is not known for its subtle use of the sound system, so bring earplugs if you want to be able to hear when you reach middle age! Ticket prices vary.... less
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Reviews

  • Candice G
    3/20/2018
    I was there last night for An Evening with Glen Hansard. The good: we sat in the balcony about 7 or 8 rows up and the sound was fantastic. I saw him a few years ago at a different venue and it was equ... moreI was there last night for An Evening with Glen Hansard. The good: we sat in the balcony about 7 or 8 rows up and the sound was fantastic. I saw him a few years ago at a different venue and it was equally amazing so I’m not sure if the venue can take credit for his amazing voice and artistry. The bad: when people say this place is a dump, they’re absolutely correct. Seating: Most shows here do not have assigned seating which means lining up hours in advance to get a prime location for the show. Inevitably, you will have to go to the bathroom once you get inside. THE. BATHROOMS. ARE. DISGUSTING. When I opened the door to the tiny stall, the door hit the toilet seat, which fell right off. No joke. There was a bathroom attendant so I don’t know how so many drunks get away with just hanging out in the bathroom and people were smoking weed. I got a stern warning from the security guard upon entry about not using my vape inside but apparently smoking a joint in the bathroom is fine. Drinks:,My cousin and I went to get a drink and each ordered a double Tito’s on the rocks and I got a bottle of water for my husband. That cost $38. You serious? 4 shots of liquor and a warm bottle of water for $38. Seating: For those who have never been here, there is no seating near the stage except for a small VIP area. If you don’t want to stand, you have to go up the balcony. All the seats in the balcony were rough looking. Most had rips and tears and my husband’s had a spring poking him in the leg the whole time.Overall, would I see a show here again? Maybe, if I was desperate to see a certain artist. I understand the place has history but to me that makes it even worse to allow it to get so run down.... less
  • Alesia G
    3/14/2018
    Had an absolutely amazing time at the Robert Plant concert. He’s been playing smaller venues in recent years, which is part of the reason why we got close to the stage. This man is a living legend a... moreHad an absolutely amazing time at the Robert Plant concert. He’s been playing smaller venues in recent years, which is part of the reason why we got close to the stage. This man is a living legend and a brilliant performer. And his band is outstanding. If you haven’t seen him in concert yet, I urge you to go. I’ve read the reviews about how run down this venue is and how people felt unsafe, but that wasn’t my experience. It’s just an old building that could use a remodel. It gets hot in there, so dress accordingly. The restrooms were clean and coat check easily accessible. You can easily get there via the CTA Red Line or bus. It’s a General Admission venue, so you must get there at least 3 hours before the show if you want to be close to the stage. But the closer you get to the stage, the harder it’ll be to get drinks or get to the restroom. Overall, a positive experience. I’d definitely go again.... less
  • rOckyhillrOad
    2/26/2018
    If you were born and raised in Chicago the Riv is still the same. Since the 70's when I was there last, seeing... it was the 70's, l can't remember the band; the theater still has the feel of a class... moreIf you were born and raised in Chicago the Riv is still the same. Since the 70's when I was there last, seeing... it was the 70's, l can't remember the band; the theater still has the feel of a classic rock and roll venue. First come first serve, stand in line around the block with nowadays full security check.It has the feel of 'if these walls could talk'.It's a landmark so get over your complaining about bathrooms and needing paint on the walls and security. It's the cold, hard city so order a cold beer and have a fine time... less
  • Mark37Chicago
    2/23/2018
    I saw Robert Plant this week here and enjoyed seeing him in a small venue. However, this is the most run-down of the old Chicago theaters I have been in recently. VERY amateur repair work all over t... moreI saw Robert Plant this week here and enjoyed seeing him in a small venue. However, this is the most run-down of the old Chicago theaters I have been in recently. VERY amateur repair work all over the place. Makes me worry about the wiring. No seats and people really push to the front to see. I felt like I was in a continuous TSA pat down once the show started. No isles kept open, people literally shoving their way through the crowd. If there is ever a fire here during a big show, the death toll will be shocking.... less
  • Kate P
    2/21/2018
    I cannot believe a venue like this continues to exist in the 21st century. Dirty, unsafe, fire trap with bathrooms which defy belief because of the unsanitary conditions. A total sewer and should be ... moreI cannot believe a venue like this continues to exist in the 21st century. Dirty, unsafe, fire trap with bathrooms which defy belief because of the unsanitary conditions. A total sewer and should be shut down. I do not have the option of zero stars or negative stars. You couldn't pay me to set foot in that latrine again.... less