Patio Theater revival
A historic Northwest Side Chicago movie palace is set to reopen.
By Ben Kenigsberg
It’s 36 degrees in the Patio Theater’s projection booth, if the thermometer on the back wall can be trusted. Demetri Kouvalis is showing me an adjoining fireproof room, whose narrow stairway provides a quick escape in the event the film bursts into flames. For a moment, the warmth of flammable celluloid, obsolete after 1952, seems strangely appealing. But a fire would, alas, burn down the booth, its old-fashioned projectors and its impressive poster collection (The Snake Pit, The Blue Dahlia, The Pawnbroker, Barton Fink)—to say nothing of the glorious auditorium outside. . . . .