The Patio Theater reaches its goal
The Patio Theater, a Northwest Side landmark for families and lynchpin of hope for business renewal in the neighborhood, has successfully conducted a massive, $50,000 Kickstarter campaign, allowing it to remain open. Holy cow and huzzah. If you haven't been following our coverage of the theater's situation, here's the gist: After fully renovating the 1927 movie palace with his dad, Demetri Kouvalis found himself in a tough spot. Opened just a year and already the theater's equipment was obsolete. Movie studios are switching all films over from 35mm reels to digital, and Kouvalis needed to suddenly come up with another $50,000–$100,000. Enter the Kickstarter campaign, and enter some 741 backers to come up with the $50K.
This is pretty incredible to me, not only because of the amount raised—I have to admit, as much as I wanted it to happen, I didn't think they'd hit such a large goal—but the incredible specificity of the project. Kickstarters usually do well when they're either small projects with humble goals, or huge projects that can pull in money from enthusiasts around the country. The fact that essentially a neighborhood banded together to save a local business and keep a landmark movie house open is pretty astonishing and inspiring to see.
If you haven't yet been to the Patio (6008 W Irving Park Rd, 773-685-4291), you should make it a point. It's only $5 a ticket, and you get to sit under the stars and clouds in a giant, fully restored movie palace. I admit to some bias: It's where we took our son to his first movie. I'm thrilled that we'll be able to see more.