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Patio Theater To Stay Open After Sells to Yet-Unnamed Buyer for $2.5M

By Heather Cherone | November 6, 2015 6:34am
 The Patio Theater has been sold for $2.5 million.
The Patio Theater has been sold for $2.5 million.
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Essex Realty Group

PORTAGE PARK — The Patio Theater has been sold for $2.5 million, and the new owner plans to keep the former movie palace open, the broker handling the sale said Thursday.

Justin Weber, of Chicago-based Essex Realty Group, said the group that purchased the 88-year-old former movie palace at 6008 W. Irving Park Road, did not want to be identified until county officials record the sale of the property.

However, the Patio Theater's new owners plan to focus on just the 1,500-seat single-screen movie theater and sell the 18 apartments and 11 street-level shops and offices attached to the theater immediately, Weber said.

Ald. Nicholas Sposato (38th) said news of the theater's sale was a surprise to him and had planned to meet with the theater's operators next week.

The theater went up for sale in July 2014 for $2.9 million, three months after it closed because of a busted air conditioning system.

Many see the theater as the linchpin in efforts to revitalize the Irving Austin Business District, where business owners are trying to bring new life to the edge of western Portage Park.

Portage Theater Owner Eddie Carranza had been under contract to buy the Patio Theater, but that deal fell apart, Weber said.

It is unclear who will operate the Patio Theater. It had been run by Charlie Burns, who also operates the Portage Theater, 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave.

The only upcoming event listed on the Patio Theater's website is a screening of a zombie movie Saturday night.

Burns did not return a phone call and an email Thursday from DNAinfo Chicago.

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

The Patio was also closed from 2001 to 2010, when Kouvalis raised more than $54,000 on Kickstarter to buy 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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