The Patio Theater in Portage Park
In a world filled with gigantic yet bland multiplexes, Portage Park offers Chicagoans a chance to revisit a more grand and unique movie going experience at the recently restored Patio Theater. The Patio, located at 6008 W. Irving Park Rd., is one of the few remaining historic movie theaters in the city having originally opened in 1927 but sadly had to shut down operations in 2001. Fortunately though, The Patio has reopened with plenty of care and detail towards it’s ornate and dramatic fixtures. As you enter the building be sure to look up as the front ticket lobby, with it’s neo-Pompeian style, has been fully restored showcasing it’s extraordinarily beautiful chandelier and intricate ceiling designs.
The viewing room which features an open space seating of about 1500 and features one of the largest screens in the Chicago area, is what most customers of The Patio’s past seem to remember. Entering the room, one can’t help but be somewhat mesmerized by the exquisite light fixtures adorning the walls of the outer aisles. The main screen itself is surrounded on both sides by balcony style archways coated in a lighting scheme of purples and reds giving the room a feel of vintage romance. Once you sit down be sure to look up if you haven’t already noticed the twinkling lights and moving clouds adorning the makeshift night sky.
Offering lot more personality than your average AMC
Aesthetics aside, another solid reason to visit the Patio theater is the ridiculously reasonable price of $5 dollars all day, every day, for any age. Admission prices aren’t the only thing you’ll find pleasant considering that the Patio offers a large popcorn (in the traditional bucket) and a large drink all for $8 dollars which is something that you won’t likely find in most modern multiplexes.
Technically, The Patio is considered to be a second run theater which means it gets new movies a few weeks later than the first run theaters. Personally though, seeing a movie at the Patio feels more like an experience rather than just sitting in a dark room.
Final screen image of "My Week With Marilyn" at The Patio Theater
This past weekend the hubby and I had the pleasure of seeing “My Week With Marilyn” right before Oscar night which tallied my total Oscar films I’ve seen this year to one (Yay me!). Anyway, there was definitely something unique about watching a film that takes place during a time when glamor and opulence was a major part of Hollywood in a theater filled with that similar Old Hollywood style.
Regulus offers "Good Coffee" and more
The Patio isn’t all that Portage Park has to offer. About a block away sits Regulus Coffee House Company, located at 6032 W. Irving Park RD. Regulus offers fair trade, organic, locally grown coffee along with a wide variety of teas, sodas and signature drinks. I very much enjoyed their Italian Cream Soda which had the option of an additional flavor shot. I chose the Toasted Marshmallow flavor shot which may seem odd to some but I consider myself a connoisseur of all things marshmallow flavored. I also had the pleasure of tasting their delicious raspberry kolaczki pastries which was just one of their sweet offerings.
Regulus offers an open relaxed atmosphere
Atmosphere at Regulus is very relaxed though they do have a swear jar for the “S” word, you know, as in Starbucks. It was simply a nice place to spend time in as I could picture myself kicking back with a good book and a warm drink on a cool Chicago day or a nice chilled beverage on one of those notorious Chicago summer days. The coffee house itself is decorated in comforting earth tones along with the added personality of a handwritten chalkboard style menu featuring gold colored picture frames dividing the menu’s sections. A variety of board games and books are left out for customers enjoyment during their visit as well as hand made jewelry, mugs and featured artwork that are available for purchase. I applaud them too for not overly crowding the room with tightly packed in tables which as I mentioned in my last post, is a major pet peeve.
The Regulus Coffee House Menu
Regulus often features deals in conjunction with the Patio such as offering discounts or even free drinks when you present your movie ticket stub. Also featured are various events like Family History Night coming up Thursday , March 1st at 7:00 pm, where guests can learn how to embark on discovering the history of their families.
Sure that's the exit but why would you want to leave?
Regulus is definitely a welcomed addition to the area along with the return of the Patio and it’s wonderful to see two local businesses working together ultimately helping their community grow. Here’s hoping that both business will continue to flourish and possibly help influence future business openings in Portage Park.
Be sure to “Like” The Patio and Regulus Coffee House Company on Facebook to stay in the loop on upcoming discounts and events!
Till next time,