Patio Theater

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Patio Theater
Address6008 West Irving Park Road
Chicago, Illinois 60634
United States
Coordinates41°57′12″N 87°46′38″W / 41.953201°N 87.777127°W / 41.953201; -87.777127
OwnerPrivately Owned
OpenedJanuary 29, 1927[2]
Closed2001, April 2014
ReopenedJune 3, 2011, Late 2014
ArchitectR.S. Wolff

The Patio Theater is a movie palace with an original pipe organ located in the Portage Park community of Chicago.

Original style and restoration in 1960s[edit]

The theater originally opened in 1927 with a capacity of 1,500 people.[1][2] Its atmospheric auditorium was designed in the Neo-Pompeiien fashion, with various Spanish and Italian architectural influences present as well. One of the theater's most prominent design features is the auditorium ceiling. The ceiling replicates a night sky by use of dark blue paint, blinking lights, and clouds that are displayed on the ceiling via projector. The original horizontal theater marquee is still in place. The vertical section was removed in the 1970s.

Still in place within the auditorium is the theater's original Barton pipe organ. Once used to accompany silent films, the organ fell into disrepair and was restored in the 1960s. After its restoration, it provided music for various shows and sing-alongs.

Recent history[edit]

The theater was shuttered in 2001 due to failure of its air conditioning chillers and issues regarding a then new license instated by the City of Chicago. Renovations began on the theater in 2010, and were finished in 2011. The theater officially reopened on June 3, 2011. The first film to touch the screen in over 10 years was Thor.

The theater installed a 2k digital cinema projector in late 2012 after a Kickstarter campaign. It retains dual 35mm film projectors.

After a period of showing "intermediate run" new releases, the theater transitioned to a rental-based business model in June 2013. The nonprofit Chicago Film Society was in residence there until the theater closed again in April 2014, as owner Demetri Kouvalis reported problems with heating and cooling equipment.[3]

The theater re-opened again on December 4, 2014.[4] There was another period of closure, and the theater re-opened May 7, 2016 under new owners with a screening of Jaws.[2] The Kouvanis family sold the theater to Eddie Caranza, who owns the Congress Theater as well.[5]


  1. ^ a b Pick, Grant (June 22, 1995). "All Seats $2". The Reader. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Powell, Cheryl; Van Landschoot, Alan; Krefft, Brian. "Patio Theatre 6008 West Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL 60634". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  3. ^ Sudo, Chuck (April 11, 2014). "Patio Theater To Close, For Good, At End Of Month". Chicagoist. Archived from the original on April 14, 2014. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  4. ^ Cherone, Heather (November 20, 2014). "Patio Theater To Reopen, Will Be Managed By Portage Theater Crew". DNA Info for Jefferson Park, Portage Park & Norwood Park. Archived from the original on August 9, 2016. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  5. ^ Jones, J. R. (May 6, 2016). "Patio Theater lights up its silver screen again". The Reader. Retrieved June 10, 2016.

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