In 1973 a group of experimental filmmakers formed an artist-run weekly screening series in response to the lack of an exhibition space to show their own work and the work of other new and emerging filmmakers. This Saturday night screening program, started under the auspices of N.A.M.E. Gallery, was called Filmgroup at N.A.M.E. In 1976, Filmgroup separated from the gallery and incorporated as Chicago Filmmakers. Filmgroup was retained as the informal name for the exhibition program until 1994, when it was renamed Kino-Eye Cinema. The exhibition program is now one of the longest-running showcases in the country for American and foreign independent film and video. Meanwhile, Chicago Filmmakers has evolved into more than a venue for screening films; it is now a diverse media arts center with programs in adult and youth education, equipment access and membership services, film distribution, and community outreach, as well as film and video exhibition.
The Patio Theater:
Opened on January 29, 1927, Patio Theatre (picture above) was one of just a few classic moderately-sized single-screen neighborhood movie houses in Chicago not to have been carved up into multiple screens. The Patio Theatre is located at the corner of Irving Park Road and Austin Avenue in Chicago’s Portage Park neighborhood. The Patio Theatre auditorium has a great Atmospheric style effect with twinkling “stars” and drifting “clouds” in a night “sky”. The theater remained unused since it closed in 2001, but work began on restoration in the summer of 2010, and the Patio Theatre reopened on June 3, 2011. Click onto the above picture for more information.
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