Val's Halla, Legendary Oak Park Record Store, Closing

Jim Gudas
November 05, 2019 - 7:40 pm

Val Camiletti (image used with permission from


OAK PARK  (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- After 47 years in business, an Oak Park institution will close its doors for good at the end of this month.

It's Val's Halla Records, which opened in 1972 and currently sits in the heart of Oak Park's arts district on Harrison Street.

Shayne Blakeley has been with Val’s for 19 years and took over founder Val Camilletti passed away last year after a battle with breast cancer.

He said at first the store continued to do well, but it didn’t last. Sales dropped off precipitously this year, and during the first four months of 2019 the store was often what he called a "ghost town."

"I have not been able to recover. It's insurmountable," Blakeley said.

He says Oak Park isn’t just losing a record store -- it’s losing a part of its heart and soul.

People should make a point of visiting Val’s at least once before it closes at the end of the month, Blakeley said, because he says they’ll never get a chance to see anything like it again.