Grand Marquee on Irving Park Rd.
The Patio Theater
Smalltime Archiphile centers on architecture’s place – sometimes event-based, sometimes aesthetic– in usually small, marginal and forgotten incarnations around Chicagoland.
The Patio Theatre is arguably the most magnificent movie house in all of Chicago. With awesome programming by the Chicago Cinema Society, a revamped 1920′s Baroquesque interior and streamlined Deco marquee, Patio uses the vehicle of space, time and, more specifically color, to heighten its graphic grandeur.
Ornamentation and Chandelier on Ceiling
Color envelopes you in ways only rococo could – through ornamentation, stucco, mirrors, chandeliers, vaults – in variations of gold leaf, reds, blues, yellows and greens. The Patio Theater’s procession starts with its stark yellow and red sans-serif Deco marquee. Once inside, you encounter a nearly 20ft high chromatic ceiling ticketing foyer, followed by a minimally modern concession stand, and finally culminating in the most mindfucking auditorium punctuated by a starry night twice the size of the Music Box Theatre’s. It’s a series of effects that contemporary architects can’t even fathom approaching i.e. using color to form, shape, line and syncopate a procession, not as appliqué.
Patio’s use of color is palpable and interactive. The culmination of this comes in the auditorium’s screen covering that employs classic vaulting effects with an abundance of color to achieve simulacrum by easily inhabiting both traditional building technique (without traditional necessity) and pushing nuanced ornateness in graphic (without being kitsch).
Auditorium – Starry night, Chateau Window Walls and monumental vault screen enclosure
Sitting there watching a Samurai classic like Shogun Assassin on a Saturday night in Portage Park, not Lakeview, Logan Square, Southport or any other “hot spot” is an added bonus to this prismatic gem. Architecture ‘looks’ all the time and the colorful Patio Theater trumps most classic Chicago movie houses in terms of how comfortable it is in its own skin – inside and out.
The Patio Theater is located at 6008 W. Irving Park Rd, Chicago, Illinois 60634.
Fish, the band, at The Chicago Music CD showcase at The Mutiny on Thursday Night Photo courtesy of Chicago Music CD Record Label.
Cla$$’s 3ft triangle stole the show. Photo courtesy of Chicago Music CD Record Label.
My Bad’s Scott Reeder takes a selfie with adoring fans. Photo courtesy of Chicago Music CD Record Label.