Patio Theater has held events without licenses
by CYRYL JAKUBOWSKI
The Patio Theater, 6008 W. Irving Park Road, has been operating without valid business licenses since May, yet it still has held a number of shows for profit since then, according to the city.
The city Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection said last week that two of the theater’s licenses expired on May 15 and that the renewal process has not been initiated. However, the theater renewed its licenses on Oct. 16.
"All businesses in the City of Chicago must be compliant with the municipal code," department spokeswoman Mika Stambaugh said. "This business is operating without current business licenses, and the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Business Compliance Enforcement division will investigate."
The theater was cited for not having business licenses on Oct. 1, according to 16th (Jefferson Park) District police. Officers who conducted a license check discovered that the business had expired licenses, and the manager was cited for having an expired public place of amusement license and an expired retail food establishment license, according to police. A court hearing is scheduled for Oct. 30.
"I’m confused about what’s going on over there," Alderman Nicholas Sposato (38th) said. "No one had come forward to me and be a good neighbor and said that they are selling the place. I didn’t know that they were selling it to somebody."
Sposato said that the theater continued to hold shows without a license. The theater held a 24-hour movie marathon on Oct. 17, and it held screenings of independent movies in May, July, August and September.
The Essex Realty Group listed the theater for sale for $2.9 million in July, after it closed because of a broken air conditioning system. The Portage Theater Management Company operates the Patio and the Portage, 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave., which has valid licenses, Stambaugh said. Eddie Carranza, who owns the Portage Theater, reportedly set up the management company.
"The business licenses at 4050 N. Milwaukee are current," Stambaugh said. "New plans were submitted for approval to remove some fixed seating and add bars inside the theater. The plans are currently under review."
The Patio Theater closed last year after previous operator Demetri Kouvalis said that he did not have the money to fix the building’s air conditioning system.
Two years ago, the theater was forced to close during the summer because of the broken air conditioning system, and it opened in the fall under a new business model. The theater reopened in 2011 after being closed for about 10 years.