Patio Theatre

6008 West Irving Park Road,
Chicago, IL 60634

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Showing 226 - 250 of 276 comments

bleedingchicago
bleedingchicago on March 16, 2006 at 5:26 am

Hey everybody

I am a Michael LeVan. I have lived in the city of Chicago my entire life. I am a filmmaker and a attendee of Columbia College, heading into my final year. I love all the old movie palaces of Chicago. It has been my intent for sometime to Make a documentary on the history, and the ongoings of these historic theaters in the present. The means to make this documentary are finally in my grasp. I planned on featuring 3 theaters, the Copernicus Center(formally The Gateway), The Patio(Formally The Avalon), and The Uptown. While the Documentary will focus on the entire history, These are the three that will be visual examples, and the ones i would like to film in. I have spoken with the People at The Gateway Theater, and they are estatic that i am doing this. The only problem now is The Uptown and the The Patio. These two theaters seem to have ghosts of owners , or even managers. If somebody could help me in finding someone to talk too, i would be very appriciative. Also, this documentary will require interviews, and finding old information as well. If anybody would be kind enough to do either that would be fantastic. My somewhat set date to start filming is June 10 ,2006. My goal with the entire project is to help and benifit these theaters. Help alot more people to gain interest, and all the profit that i attain, if any, will be donated to help with these theaters. I am going to submit it to Wttw(Pbs Chicago) , and also the History Channel. So if anyone would like to help in anyway, they can contact me at my email.

or by phone (773)-656-5821

Well i appriciate if you read that entire thing, and hopefully i will be hearing from you

Michael Levan of Bleeding Chicago Productions

barryr
barryr on February 8, 2006 at 4:41 pm

We lived in the Portage Park area very near the Patio. I think we saw “The Sound of Music” there when it first came out. Resurrecting a subject from a few posters up (and many months back!), my aunt was visiting us with her family from Germany in the 60’s, and said they’d spent the afternoon at the “Payshow.” I thought that was an odd way to refer to a movie theater, but I figured she was roughly translating the word from German. Then I realized she meant she’d been to the Patio! I now live in the western ‘burbs, but I work on the north side in the Roscoe Village area. I’ve driven past the Patio on several occasions and am always happy to see the marquee. Hope this is one cinema treasure that survives.

dteilers
dteilers on January 29, 2006 at 1:55 pm

The last film I saw at the Patio was The Poseidon Adventure. I took the bus from Lake Street on Austin Blvd.

andy574
andy574 on January 1, 2006 at 4:22 pm

If I remember correctly the Simms family owned the Patio at some point. I knew one of the kids, Chris Simms though not real well. They also owned a disco night club on the corner of Addison and long. I lived on Waveland and Long and the Simms family lived on Patterson and Lockwood. They were (are) nice people, a nice Greek family. I too have many great memories of going to the Patio as a kid (38 now) I remember see “JAWS” there when I was about 11 and my Ma putting her had over my face when the shark was getting ready to attack! and I also remember seeing the “Apple Dumpling Gang” there too with my Dad. Those were the good old days, I didn’t really realise it then, but I sure do now. It is a shame that other families aren’t making them kind of memories that last a life time like I did at the Patio. The Patio is a icon of the NW side of Chicago and it is a shame to hear that it is not still open.
Just a little food for thought to who it may concern or not….
The governor Rod bagoinavich (sp) grew up some were in that neighborhood I think anyway, and I know for a fact that he went to Saint Pats high school. I am sure he must have gone to the Patio too… anyone see were I am going here? bottom line is the Patio is a historic treasure!!!
Andy Farrington

Broan
Broan on November 28, 2005 at 9:36 am

A May 30, 1926 Rendering and Caption in the Chicago Tribune identifies R.G. Wolff as the Architect for the yet-unnamed Patio.

robabank1
robabank1 on September 14, 2005 at 7:29 am

I remember seeing my wife’s Luther High School North yearbook, which had a picture of the Patio right on the hardbound cover! I’m not sure if they altered the image on the marquee to say something about that years class, or if they actually held their graduation there.
I’ll have to search around for the year book but I think it was from 1975, ‘76 or '77.

TRAINPHOTOS
TRAINPHOTOS on June 19, 2005 at 1:37 pm

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

kinoeye
kinoeye on March 8, 2005 at 12:53 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
fab4fan on February 9, 2005 at 9:48 pm

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
nicoleboylan on February 6, 2005 at 6:32 pm

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.
Nicole

richardg
richardg on February 4, 2005 at 4:35 pm

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
nicoleboylan on February 3, 2005 at 10:06 pm

Hello,

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.
Nicole

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 25, 2005 at 12:26 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
JimRankin on January 18, 2005 at 1:36 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 ( www.LHAT.org ) 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:

http://www.grandevenues.com/

http://www.rjha.net/mainpage.htm

The Theatre Historical Soc. of America is just outside of Chicago in Elmhurst ( www.HistoricTheatres.org ) 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: http://www.cinematour.com/article.php?id=3

“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 8:49 am

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
richardg on January 10, 2005 at 4:06 pm

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
heatherbakker on December 21, 2004 at 11:29 pm

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
Broan on November 25, 2004 at 2:03 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
Jayne2 on November 24, 2004 at 7:46 pm

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
lucyvanpelt on September 20, 2004 at 10:46 am

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
Cwakrs on July 6, 2004 at 12:32 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
Xanthus on July 2, 2004 at 7:13 pm

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
Trolleyguy on June 17, 2004 at 3:35 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.

Peace

bunny
bunny on June 15, 2004 at 11:07 pm

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
JimRankin on June 5, 2004 at 6:46 pm

Trolleyguy is right; mea culpa.