Riviera Ballroom - Atlas Obscura

The Riviera Ballroom, built in 1933, was a regional destination for live music from its opening until the early 1980s. The ballroom was the site of numerous performers that included Glenn Miller, Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington among many others.

Singers of the era that performed there included Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, Mel Torme, the Andrew Sisters, Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day, Perry Como, Billie Holiday, and Lena Horne to name just a few.   

In 1972, the Riviera Ballroom was turned into a privately-operated nightclub called “Top Deck” which operated until the early 1980s. Artists who performed at Top Deck included Donna Summer, Chubby Checker, Herman’s Hermits, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, Gloria Gaynor, Chaka Khan, the Village People, and Cheap Trick, among others.

A more complete list of the performers is listed on the wall on the 1st floor of the Riviera building (which is open to the public and has several small shops open from spring to fall).

The ballroom recently underwent an extensive renovation and now is a popular venue for weddings and other private, special events. While usually not open to walk-through, the inside is clearly visible from the exterior windows on the second-floor landing.

Know Before You Go

 Ballroom is on the second floor of the Riviera Building, located along the lakefront.


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August 4, 2023

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