Brew and View at the Vic
The Vic Theater is silent. For anyone who’s ever been to a concert there, this is not normal. Usually, your feet are sticking to the ground and your elbows are rubbing against the sweaty t-shirt of the stranger next to you while somebody like Conor Oberst jams out on stage. Tonight though, the Vic isn’t only silent but, it’s also pitch black and, instead of Oberst’s wailing, Conan O’Brien’s Can’t Stop, a documentary about the comedian’s recent tour, plays on a movie screen in front of an audience of roughly thirty people.
Four or five days a week the Vic transforms itself from a concert venue into Brew and View, a cozy movie theater with a full bar and menu. Depending on that week’s schedule, you’ll find yourself throwing down a measly five bucks for a double feature (and occasionally they’ll even throw in a third!) Not bad. The films are usually second or third run movies or classics like Jaws or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
The Vic’s beverages are averagely priced — on my recent Sunday visit the cheapest beer on the menu was draft MGD and High Life for $4. Considering the neighborhood and the price of a pop and popcorn combination at your average AMC movie theater, this was nothing to get upset about.
At times it was hard to hear the movie — and I’d say that’s to be expected here. The crowd often quotes the dialogue, or even sings and dances to the film (think “Grease Lightning” flash mob). It’s definitely a fun atmosphere, but perhaps not for those looking for a more serious movie-going experience. The theatre’s seats are simple hardback chairs around small tables, and while this isn’t uncomfortable, it doesn’t share the same comfort as your standard, plush AMC chairs. If you’re trying to focus on a movie and plot line you’re unfamiliar with, this could be an issue.
There isn’t any other place in Chicago where you can see two to three movies and grab a beer for $9. There’s especially no other place in Lakeview that offers this luxury. As if that isn’t enough, Brew and View also offers live entertainment. Check out Brew and View on Tuesdays for Brew-Ha-Ha, where free open mic comedy takes place before the shows, or on Wednesdays when Marquis Hill Trio plays live jazz begining at 5:00pm.
Keep in mind that the venue is 18+ even for movie nights, and you must be 21+ to drink.