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Patio Theater Expanding For Daily Showings Of 'Retro' Flicks

By Alex Nitkin | October 5, 2017 11:50am
 The theater will soon show Sunday morning cartoons and
The theater will soon show Sunday morning cartoons and "open screen nights" for amateur filmmakers, operator Charlie Burns said.
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DNAinfo/Alex Nitkin

CHICAGO — Starting this weekend, the Patio Theater's iconic red-and-yellow marquee will illuminate the Irving-Austin Business District nightly.

The theater at 6008 W. Irving Park Road will celebrate a "grand reopening" Friday night with a triple-feature of the original "Mad Max" films, kicking off the venue's new practice of showing retro movies six nights a week, operator Charlie Burns said.

"The community has been asking for more consistency," Burns said. "They want family programming and a destination where they can go ... so we're excited about this."

In addition to movie screenings Monday through Saturday, Burns is planning to debut "retro cartoons" like Looney Tunes on Sunday mornings, he said.

Interspersed among the classic film showings will be "open screen" nights, when amateur and independent filmmakers will be invited to show 10-minute clips of their own projects, Burns added.

The theater has been gradually ramping up operations since its ownership changed hands in December 2015, when former Portage Theater owner Eddie Carranza took over.

The venue scored a liquor license after a contentious back-and-forth with 38th Ward Ald. Nicholas Sposato, and Burns's staff has been stocking the bar with beer from Revolution Brewing and other craft brewers, he said.

A set of classic arcade games including Pac-Man and Galaga now sits in the theater's lobby, complementing the building's art deco architecture and newly-minted throwback theme, Burns said.

Friday's "grand reopening" kicks off at 7:30 p.m. with back-to-back-to-back showings of "Mad Max" (1979), "The Road Warrior" (1981) and "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" (1985). Tickets are available for purchase online at $10 each.

On Saturday, the theater will host Paul Rodriguez and the Latin Kings of Comedy at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for Saturday's show are available online starting at $25.