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Portage Theater Owner Eddie Carranza to Buy Patio Theater

By Heather Cherone | February 19, 2015 3:52pm
 Patio Theater
Patio Theater
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Essex Realty Group

PORTAGE THEATER — Portage Theater Owner Eddie Carranza is under contract to buy the Patio Theater, the broker handling the sale said Thursday.

Justin Weber, of Chicago-based Essex Realty Group, who is handling the sale, declined to reveal the agreed-upon purchase price.

The 88-year-old former movie palace at 6008 W. Irving Park Rd. went up for sale in July for $2.9 million, three months after it closed its doors because of a busted air conditioning system.

The 1,500-seat theater, 18 apartments above the single-screen movie theater and 11 street-level shops and offices were all up for sale.

Demetri Kouvalis, whose family has owned the theater since 1987, could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

The Patio Theater reopened in December under the management of the same team that operates the Carranza's Portage Theater.

In April, Carranza told DNAinfo Chicago that he was interested in purchasing the Patio Theater, only to say several hours later that he misspoke, and only wanted to help the owner of the Patio Theater by sharing his expertise about the Chicago theater industry.

Kouvalis said in April he was uninterested in selling the Patio to Carranza because of his track record at the Portage, which he abruptly shut down in May 2013, and the Congress Theater in Logan Square, which was shuttered after city officials yanked Carranza's liquor license and declared it unsafe because of building code violations.

The Patio Theater is in the heart of the Irving Austin Business District, where business owners are trying to bring new life to the edge of western Portage Park.

Three screenings have been canceled at the Patio Theater in recent weeks, prompting two independent filmmakers to warn others not to book events at the recently reopened theater.

The Patio was also closed from 2001 to 2010. Kouvalis raised more than $54,000 on Kickstarter to purchase a new digital projector, and reopened the theater to host regular shows.

The interior of the Randolph Wolff-designed theater was restored in 2011. The auditorium's ceiling features a replica of a night sky, complete with twinkling stars and moving clouds.

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