Patio Theatre

6008 West Irving Park Road,
Chicago, IL 60634

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Showing 76 - 100 of 267 comments

jwballer
jwballer on April 19, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Never mind just of the auditorium. Found one of the organ.
View link

jwballer
jwballer on March 30, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Does anyone have a photo of the 3/17 Barton organ or an auditorium view showing the night sky of the patio?

jwballer
jwballer on March 25, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Your right it could re-open as a multipurpose venue but it would have a lot of competition.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on March 25, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Normal, Ill. is a small town. Chicago is a big city with big taxes. The Patio has been closed for NINE years now. Nobody’s offering to re-open it. If I had money to burn, I would re-open it as a multi-purpose venue. I just don’t see it happening. Tim O'Neill

jwballer
jwballer on March 25, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Timoneill,you never know. The normal theatre in Normal il is a full time theatre showing classic movies. Its doing good.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on March 3, 2010 at 11:35 pm

The Patio Theatre will never re-open as a full-time movie theatre ever again. Maybe it’ll re-open as a multi-purpose venue, but as a movie house, forget it. It’s been closed for NINE years now, and Alex is almost 71 years old. He’s not going to operate it again. I love the Patio; I used to moonlight there as a projectionist, but it’s never going to be a full-time movie theatre again.

Patiomike
Patiomike on March 3, 2010 at 10:58 pm

The organ currently in use at the Portage was built in 1927 and was previously installed at the Copernicus Center (Gateway). I think it began life in yet another theater. It was moved to the Portage and installed in December of 2008. Previous to that, a digital theater organ sat in the orchestra pit. It was installed in time for the reopening in 2006. I recall being told the Portage never had an organ although there is ample room for pipes and related equipment. Jay Warren, the savior of the Portage and one of the nicest people I know, would be happy to relate the story in accurate detail. Check portagetheater.org as there are lots of interesting events coming up.

gmcalpin
gmcalpin on March 3, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Patiomike: Doesn’t the Portage Park Theater have its original organ? Although I don’t believe it’s operational, if you meant that, as well.

Patiomike
Patiomike on March 3, 2010 at 10:14 pm

I don’t know that the place was ever in perfect condition. Before its opening in 1987, mountains of litter were removed from the auditorium and other areas. Carpets were replaced, seats fixed, new paint applied, light bulbs changed, projectors serviced and a then state-of-the-art Dolby stereo sound system was installed. He even bought a new popcorn popper. Further repairs were made after opening including extensive work on the heating plant. One of the last jobs done before the 2001 closing was the removal a 10HP motor from the ventilation system, sending it out for rewiring, and reinstalling it. After 20+ years, the place could use some freshening up. The projectors need to be gently coaxed back to operation. New carpeting, paint, etc…. just like fixing up grandma’s place – if it sat 1,500.

jwballer
jwballer on March 1, 2010 at 10:43 am

Isn’t this place in like perfect condition?

jwballer
jwballer on March 1, 2010 at 9:35 am

Ok. Thats good news:)

Patiomike
Patiomike on March 1, 2010 at 9:29 am

The organ, a Barton, is still in place in the theater. Catoe.org has further details. I believe the Patio is now the only theater in Chicago that still has its original organ and not a transplant. As part of this long hoped for reopening, the owner is looking to get the instrument back to working order. It was well maintained in the 80s-90s but has not been touched since the theater’s closing.

jwballer
jwballer on March 1, 2010 at 9:02 am

Does the patio still have it’s organ?

gompka
gompka on February 3, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Would love to see a movie at the Patio again, or even take a walk through it to bring back some memories. I’m trying to remember where the a/c was, was it in the sub basement that you entered from behind the stage area, to the left of the stage if you were coming down the side aisle? I remember seeing a device with a large wheel and a drive belt. Seems that something as old as wwII a/c should be fixable unless a major part went out and is not possible to replace. If Alex gives you a call again Mike tell him that Anna, Bogdan, David and Adam say hello, and if he is wondering we still have the same phone number as always.

Patiomike
Patiomike on February 3, 2010 at 8:32 pm

That report is six years old. Alex has no intention of selling the building or converting the theater to a store or some other reuse. Many offers have been made over the years by developers who wanted to clear that corner. A recording studio once occupied a second floor office so anything’s possible regarding expansion. He’s set a realistic limit on what he intends to spend to get the main room open and is open to non-traditional events. The Copernicus Center caters largely to a Polish-speaking audience. He doesn’t want to “out Portage the Portage” either. Leaving the theater dark does not help the other tenants, the building or the neighborhood as a whole. “I want to contribute to the community” were his words. How many developers even know what that means? At his age, he could easily do nothing. I applaud his willingness to take some risks.

Trolleyguy
Trolleyguy on February 3, 2010 at 4:59 pm

On the Chicagoland Watch List. http://www.landmarks.org/chicago_watch_2004_6.htm

Along with the Uptown, New Regal, Gateway, and Central Park.

Trolleyguy
Trolleyguy on February 2, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Even a multi-use format will be up against serious competition for venues. The Copernicus Center/Gateway is just a short distance away and has a large stage and auditorium and off-street parking next door. The Portage is also in the local area, and has more off-street parking in the neighborhood compared to the Patio. Maybe a multi-screen setup would be helpful, utilizing space in adjacent buildings to create additional auditoriums, such as was done at the Pickwick in Park Ridge and the Lake in Oak Park. This way, the main auditorium with its beautiful ceiling and details could be spared.

Sure you be nice to see the Patio reopened, in any incarnation.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on February 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Agree with Tim Oneill. I think the market has only gotten more competitive since the Patio closed. The next chapter would have to have a multi-use format. That is, unless Alex is planning to run it at a loss against rental revenue from the rest of the building just for fun. If he can afford it given his entire portfolio of real estate more power to him.

jwballer
jwballer on February 2, 2010 at 1:20 pm

This is one of the sole survivors of the 1920’s and the beginning of the multiplex theatres. It would be GREAT if the Patio Re-Opens.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on February 2, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Well, I hope that Alex has been taking care of the theatre since it closed almost 9 years ago. I think that he should re-open it as a multi-purpose venue, like the Portage. It’ll never make it as a first run theatre. Some of these film companies want you to play a film for up to 4 weeks. That’s fine if you have a megaplex with various seat counts in each auditorium; but a single screen theatre? Forget about it.

Patiomike
Patiomike on February 2, 2010 at 11:23 am

I just had a nice long chat with the theater’s owner – he called me right out of the blue. He’s thinking seriously of reopening. He’s discussing the repair or possible replacement of the A/C with local technicians. He’s also looking into making repairs to the bathrooms, a fresh paint job, and refurbishment of the marquee. With the Brickyard theaters closed, there’s a better chance of opening as a first run theater. He is regularly stopped on the street and asked “when will you reopen?” He reads these posts regularly so now’s your chance to let him know you support the effort.

P.S. DaveK is correct about the balcony seat dilemma. Removal of the seats would have made the room too reverberant making dialog hard to hear.

gompka
gompka on January 3, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Jwballer, its been the same owner since the early 80’s. The economy had nothing to do with the closure its the city charging unreasonably high fees for the public place of amusement license. The balcony is never used in the theatre, yet the PPA license charges per seat, the city never used to charge him for the balcony seats, but at one point they told him that to avoid an increase in the fee all the balcony seats would have to be removed.

jwballer
jwballer on January 3, 2010 at 3:23 pm

I wonder if the current owners will open the theatre once the economy gets fixed.
They wouldn’t have to do much, it in perfect condition.

Bing00
Bing00 on December 30, 2009 at 11:44 am

There is a new facebook page “Fans of Chicago’s Historic Patio Theatre”. Join it.