Patio Theatre

6008 West Irving Park Road,
Chicago, IL 60634

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Showing 101 - 125 of 260 comments

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on February 2, 2010 at 5:30 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.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on February 2, 2010 at 3:16 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 on February 2, 2010 at 2:23 pm

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 on January 4, 2010 at 1:24 am

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.

Bing00 on December 30, 2009 at 2:44 pm

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

Trolleyguy on December 4, 2009 at 7:22 pm

No, it doesn’t have a balcony. Instead, it has several rows of seats that are arranged at the back of the auditorium in rising tiers, stadium-style.

These seats were roped-off for years and unavailable to patrons.

gmcalpin on December 4, 2009 at 5:12 pm

The Patio is most certainly not open; that web page is just 8 years old. It closed in 2001, when The Mummy Returns was new to theaters.

gmcalpin on November 19, 2009 at 9:54 am

The Patio Theatre made an appearance (in vector form) in my comic strip Multiplex today:

(The two characters in the strip are making a habit of visiting classic theaters in the Chicago area; one is a photography buff, the other a budding classic movie theater buff. Chicago’s Calo Theatre has previously appeared, and they will be visiting more in the future, as well.)

Photography purists will be more interested in this recent gallery (from July, 2009) of Patio Theatre pics at my Flickr account, however: View link

gompka on October 5, 2009 at 10:48 pm

exterior hasn’t changed since the last pics were posted, as far as I know I haven’t heard anything from the owner about planning to reopen.

Trolleyguy on October 5, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Reactivate notification status.

Trolleyguy on October 5, 2009 at 2:48 pm

You had to walk up the ramp from the lobby between the stadium style seating areas at the rear. The bathrooms were in the basement, though.

gompka on October 5, 2009 at 1:29 pm

There is an inclined ramp that you have to go up when you enter the auditorium.

vicboda on October 5, 2009 at 1:20 pm

I remember something strange about this theater. Maybe I just dreamed it but I think that when you entered the auditorium you had to step down. Or was it up? Maybe somebody will straighten me out.

GFeret on June 2, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Re.: PATIO marquee –

trucks keep ramming it, can’t say why this should be a particular problem in more recent times. Someone else can speculate?

gompka on May 27, 2009 at 3:56 am

My mom worked in the patio theater from about 1991 till 1998 and would often take me to work with her, at one time we lived in the apartment building attached to the Patio. After so many years of being around the Patio and essentially growing up there I share some of Mr. Antonelli’s memories of the Patio and of Alex K. Although I was too young at the time to think of the Patio in the same way I think of it now, I would love to be able to see a movie in it. Going into a new theatre today is boring and bland. Even if the movie was bad you wouldn’t be disappointed because of all of the things you could see while in the theatre. I remember on some days I would try to sneak into the projection booth and would see all of the posters on the wall and the big projectors and tubes of metal rods used to light the projectors. I also remember Mr. Antonelli and that he was very serious about his work at the Patio, when i try to remember way back I remember when “The Wizard of Austin Boulevard” was being filmed at the Patio and it was full of wires and lighting equipment. I think those who have worked in the Patio have an extra special bond with the place, even someone like me who as a little boy helped my parents clean up the empty popcorn buckets and pop cups. I also know that there were others who devoted their time to help keep the Patio running, and to the best of my knowledge they did this for free. The three gentleman would come in on Saturdays and fix-up the place. I don’t remember a whole lot about them, but maybe PatioMike or Mr. Antonelli can help me out here, I remember them as Mr. Richard (DIc), Mr. Jim, and Mr. Jerry.

Dave K

GFeret on May 20, 2009 at 5:02 pm

For PATIO to remain standing profoundly disused for so many years sort of tells me the owner awaits even expects the right terms to be brought them for putting it back in business. Optimism, can’t fault them for that. Otherwise it’d’ve wiped away already, right?

I think of other disused old neighborhood movie palaces that came back to life after years, but unfortunately I can think of some—Montclare is one—the owner seemed to want to but after time ultimately gave up the ghost. With that in mind what’re the realistic odds for the PATIO—there’s poor street parking and it ain’t of any architectural significance.

MPol on March 5, 2009 at 7:15 pm

This, too, looks like a nice theatre inside.

LouB on March 5, 2009 at 4:48 pm

The above website has a nice interior view of the Patio.

MPol on March 4, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Good luck to all of you down there. Hope they re-open the Patio Theatre for you.

MPol on February 24, 2009 at 7:37 pm

How cool, MK49er! Thanks for the sweet little story about your mom, you and the Patio Theatre.

mkreyche on February 23, 2009 at 9:41 pm

My mother was born in 1921 and lived most of her first 35 years or so a few blocks from the Patio on Mason Ave.—including, probably, when the theater opened! She always called it the PAY-show. I remember my dad taking me there to see Disney’s Peter Pan. I would have been about 4 at the time (yes, it was a VERY big deal!).

MPol on January 21, 2009 at 5:08 pm

It looks like a gorgeous theatre, both inside and out. Sure hope you guys can save it, for your own sake, although I’m not a resident of the Chicago area, or the State of Illinois, generally.

dklauck on January 21, 2009 at 3:47 pm

I am trying to reach Patiomike from above posts. We are interested in forming a Save the Patio neighborhood group to raise money for the restoration and preservation of this beautiful theater. Anybody with info please contact me at e mail below.



chgotim on December 28, 2008 at 5:12 pm

Maybe because the marquee, itself, was getting so beat up that it, too, is now in need of renovation. ;–)