Patio Theatre

6008 West Irving Park Road,
Chicago, IL 60634

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Showing 226 - 250 of 270 comments

TRAINPHOTOS on June 19, 2005 at 9:37 pm

This would be a good cinema for a small chain like Village, or (even better) Classic Cinemas to take over.

kinoeye on March 8, 2005 at 8:53 pm

If anyone has any information on contacting the owner of the Patio. I would be very interested in getting things in motion for the Patio.

fab4fan on February 10, 2005 at 5:48 am

In the mid 90s I used to go to the Patio with my friends to see movies all the time. I saw “Much Ado about Nothing” there and I remember the wonderful twinkling ceiling above us as we watched the film. It’s really sad that this theater has been closed for so long.

nicoleboylan on February 7, 2005 at 2:32 am

Thanks Richard but can I just say, Eek! :) May I also say, if the Patio were ever turned into a Walgreens or Osco, it would be a very big old depressing loss to the neighborhood. Not only would I be sad to see it go, because of it’s history, it would just be another big box store ruining local businesses and family memories. Has anyone seen the commercial from a historic society that starts with black and white images from a long time ago of a wedding, only they are standing in a gas station? Then a voice over that says, “How would you like to have to tell your children you were married in that parking lot?” I’m sure no one was ever married at the Patio, I’m sure there are similar stories that would like to be remembered and passed down to other generations. It would be a very sad moment if it were ever turned into something other than a theater.

Thanks again Richard G.

richardg on February 5, 2005 at 12:35 am

Hi Nicole,

If funds are limited the Patio is not for you— although I’d still be happy to have the owner contact you. Although the theatre did not make money, the property as a whole has a positive cash flow. There are several store fronts as well as offices which generate income. To a Walgreens or Osco the property would be very valuable and although I’ve never discussed a sale price with the owner I’d think land value alone would be over $1,000,000.00.

nicoleboylan on February 4, 2005 at 6:06 am


So I’ve been searching for months for a theater for my theater company. I grew up near this theater and also the Logan, which is very similar. I noticed about halfway through, a discussion on how to contact the owner. Did we ever decide how to to do that?

Also, I’ve never bought a theater before, let alone anything else. Well, except for happy meals and new shoes. My funds are extremely limited in terms of buying a theater. Would I be getting in over my head?

Thanks for your opinion. I need them, I’m clueless.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 25, 2005 at 8:26 pm

I suppose it is an obvious statement…and, I am with you on the issue of realism. I wish I had the time to organize, plan & motivate…instead of being an arm chair quarterback.

When an aging cinema in marginal shape (especially one with little decoration like the Milford) comes down, I see it as a sign of the changing world. But this place has an outdoor ceiling…and has been restored. I hope somebody steps up.

JimRankin on January 18, 2005 at 9:36 pm

Of course these theatres shouldn’t be allowed to be demolished or to deteriorate to that state, but as always it is a cold, hard fact of money, or the lack of it. Theatres are wonderful things, but there is nothing practical about them; they cost and cost. If you and others on this site do not have the funds personally to invest in them through some sort of a foundation set legally to preserve them, consider approaching the owner to get them to hire one of the specialists in theatre/cinema renovation and rehabilitation. The League of Historic American Theatres ( ) is set up to help rescue such treasures, and here are just two of the national firms that specialize in bringing such palaces back to life:

The Theatre Historical Soc. of America is just outside of Chicago in Elmhurst ( ) and may be willing to join in consultation with the owners, if a responsible would-be owner/operator steps forward. There are several historic preservation groups in the Chicago area; surely one of them could spearhead this effort if a committee of concerned citizens formed a ‘Save-the-Patio’ group. I have left some of my own recommendations at:

“Life’s too short” is right; it is too short for the locals to simply sit back and lament the loss of what is their own, as though such works of art were disposable. Let us hope a Chicagolander is reading this, as well as the local press.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 18, 2005 at 4:49 pm

It would be ridiculous to see this building demolished. If the Chicago preservation community ever had a cause to rally around, this is it. It is a true movie palace, and has been restored. It shouldn’t be allowed to slowly decline over the next fifteen years (as so many of these buildings have), to the point where it is unusable. The same is true of the New Regal.

richardg on January 11, 2005 at 12:06 am

I was recently in touch with the son of one of the three Greek brothers who owned and built the Patio theatre. The family name Michalopoulous, was shortened and Americanized to Mitchell. He has lots of interesting stories about the Patio and the 13 other theatres the brothers owned in the Chicago area. When I visit the Chicago area again, I hope to find out more about the Patio’s history and I’ll share the stories with you.

heatherbakker on December 22, 2004 at 7:29 am

Get pictures of the inside of the theatre to the colleges and universities in the area. Maybe try and find a few professors to pitch in a line or two during lecture about The Patio to get more people interested. That’s how I heard about it, but my professor didn’t know it was closed already. He mentioned it in passing. The description of the inside is what made us all want to see it. I would LOVE to see it open again. I’ll help too if you throw a fundraiser.

Broan on November 25, 2004 at 10:03 am

Bryan, i’m not sure if you noticed but the photos on the cinematour site are somewhat newer, it looks like the marquee’s been painted (rather less attractively). It’s a little too… ketchup and mustard for my taste. It looks from your picture that some paint was desperately needed at the time.

Jayne2 on November 25, 2004 at 3:46 am

My mother used to call it the “Pay-she-oh” too! She still does when she refers to it. I thought she was the only one! She used to go there in her early 20’s, over 40 years ago. I’ve only been there once, and remember the starry sky. I agree with the other posts – this neighborhood is on the verge of being regentrified and the theater would probably do well if it re-opened.

lucyvanpelt on September 20, 2004 at 6:46 pm

I would love to see this theater restored and re-opened. My aunt has lived a few blocks from the Patio for over twenty years. My family and I walked there many summer evenings to catch a movie, and I always wanted to make sure I got there early enough to watch the starry sky for awhile before the movie started. If anyone is seriously planning or knows of any type of fundraiser or anything like that please be sure to post, I would like to get involved!

Cwakrs on July 6, 2004 at 8:32 pm

My grandparents lived in this neighborhood for years. I am 50 years old and have grown up coming to this beautiful theater. I live in Schiller Park, a suburb outside Chicago,and I would still contribute money to the opening of this wonderful theater. I agree, someone has to reopen this Landmark theater. Vickie

Xanthus on July 3, 2004 at 3:13 am

I’ve lived in the neighborhood my whole life. I’m a graduate of St. Pascal and still attend Mass there. I was starting my sophmore year in highschool when the Patio closed. I can remember all the times on a friday night when my friends and I would go to se a two dollar movie either because we really wanted to see it OR because we had nothing better to do than pay two dollars to make fun of a bad movie. It was the place for a kid in the eighth-grade to take a date out cheap, which is always appreciated by a kid with no job or allowance or car. One of the biggest regrets I have of the Patio closing is that I was only able to take a few of my highschool friends there to see its beauty and look in awe at the stary illusions on the ceiling. Some one HAS to re-open this marvelous theatre. The love lives of hundreds of grade-schoolers rely on it.

Trolleyguy on June 17, 2004 at 11:35 pm

Yes, it is a beautiful place and needs to be reopened. Just a minor correction, tho. I also lived in the neighborhood for many years, and attended St. Pascal (no h) church at the corner of Irving Park and Melvina.


bunny on June 16, 2004 at 7:07 am

I moved into the St.Paschal/Patio neighborhood when I was in 7th grade. I cannot begin to tell you the numerous movies I’ve seen over the years. It is the most beautiful theater imaginable. The twinkling star filled sky just transports you to a far off place.I’ve also been to the organ concerts,which were just beautiful. The organ is fantastic. If there were a way to help to reopen the Patio it would be wonderful.We could do fundraising to help re-open,etc. Also it would bring new life to the neighborhood. It is a beautiful landmark and it is a sin to let it just lie vacant and unused. Besides,our children,friends and others could experience a movie the way it was meant to be seen. Not in a warehouse, where they have multiple screens and herd you in & out like cattle.It could be like the music box and show old movies.As for parking, 2 blocks west is St.Paschals who I’m sure would be accomodating.Even if there were a small surcharge to park, the church and the show could gain. God speed,& heres hoping to seeing the Patio open again! P.S. In my years in the neighborhood everyone always called it the “PATIO”

JimRankin on June 6, 2004 at 2:46 am

Trolleyguy is right; mea culpa.

Trolleyguy on June 5, 2004 at 2:42 pm

Excuse me, Jim, but the i in Spanish is pronounced ee (long e). it is the e in Spanish that has the long a sound.


tntim on June 4, 2004 at 5:47 pm

Down here in Knoxville people would call the Riviera Theatre “The ra-VER-a"
I guess that is a southern thing.

JimRankin on June 4, 2004 at 5:20 pm

Actually, in literate Spanish it would be pronounced: pah-TAY-oh. Odd pronounciation of theatre names is certainly not unique to Chicago, with perhaps the most famous being the East Coast chain of LOEW’S being pronounced: low-EES, rather than the correct “lows” (the ‘E’ was silent). One theatre in Milwaukee, the UIHLEIN caused so much confusion to out-of-towners not used to such German names, that it was renamed the ALHAMBRA, though it bore no resemblance to that famed Spanish palace! The proper pronunciation of the family name Uihlein is: EEE-line. As regards the venerable PATIO, we must remember that in the 20s, Spanish was little know outside of our southern border areas and California, and patios were a feature of the yet-to-come ranch houses of the 50s..

Trolleyguy on June 3, 2004 at 10:24 pm

My Dad used to call it the Pay-she-oh, (like ratio). Perhaps just a neighborhood affectation. In all my years on the west side, we always called it the PAT-ee-oh, just like the place where you have your barbecue grill and lawn furniture. Of course, the Hispanic customers would call it POT-y-oh (As it is pronounced in Spanish)

scottfavareille on June 3, 2004 at 4:45 pm

I didn’t realize that the Mitchell Brothers(who made porn films as well as operating theaters) had owned &/or operated theaters outside of California. Anyplace else that they operated theaters at?

richardg on June 3, 2004 at 2:06 am

The Patio was part of the Mitchell Bros. chain which owned a minimum of seven or eight theatres in the city of Chicago. Maybe more but I know of only this number. Alex, the current owner, acquired the Patio theatre complex at a tax sale in 1986. He re-opened the theatre in October 1987 and closed it in August 2001. Other than the fact Alex is now 77 and would enjoy some leisure time, there were other reasons why he closed the Patio. I think all of the problems could be overcome. There were no building code violations involved with the theatre’s closure.
I promised Alex I would not list his telephone on Cinema Treasures because he was worried the curious and passionate theatre enthusiasts would be constantly telephoning. So here’s the deal, the interested (not the curious) email me and I’ll forward your number to Alex.
If you have no idea what it would cost to heat and cool a theatre that seats 1500, research this first before you email me. Investigate all the licenses that are required—the latest on the list is the P.P.A. (Place of Public Amusement). This one alone will run you $1500 yearly.
No one more than I would love to see the Patio re-opened so let’s hear from all of you with deep pockets or good credit and excellent motivational skills. The later needed to get support from city politicians, neighborhood residents, and the many vounteers you’ll need to make it viable. My email address is