Portage Theater

4050 N. Milwaukee Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60641

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Showing 26 - 50 of 198 comments

Broan
Broan on June 26, 2012 at 7:01 am

I think the terra cotta was removed in the 50s or 60s, maybe when the marquee and doors were replaced by those from the Tivoli, because it’s not in a photo from the 70s

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on June 7, 2012 at 12:58 pm

“There MUST be separation between church and cinema!!!”

Absolutely Tim. Another storefront church will NOT benefit Chicago.

Nor will it benefit the redevelopment of the Six Corners area. I was hoping that with the revival of the Portage Theatre, some new restauarants would open. There’s still no good place to eat around this theatre and the presence of a church would hinder restaurants from opening. You can’t get a liquor license within a certain distance of a church in Chicago.

Broan
Broan on April 14, 2012 at 9:38 am

Henry L. Newhouse should be removed as architect. Lindley Phelps Rowe was architect and firm was Fridstein & Co.

Broan
Broan on April 6, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Preliminary landmark status means that any permit filed in the preliminary period is subject to review by Landmarks. Generally it means nothing can be altered in the period of consideration, which can last up to a year. This does not mean that final designation will protect the facade, lobby, and auditorium. Indeed, the Village Art (Germania) and Biograph both are landmarked but nothing past the facade is protected.

theatre123
theatre123 on April 6, 2012 at 8:25 am

DEFG it is too late for the Church to move in Landmark status is going to the Portage theatre so alterations of the theatre space cannot be altered nore the lobby or facade can be touched.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on March 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm

There MUST be separation between church and cinema!!!

theatre123
theatre123 on March 28, 2012 at 12:11 pm

DON’T LET THIS BEAUTIFUL THEATRE LET A CHURCH TAKE OVER AND DESTROY OUR ENTERTAINMENT AND THEATRE!!! MUST BE SAVED!!!

darkstarv
darkstarv on March 10, 2012 at 9:48 am

http://www.facebook.com/SaveThePortageTheater

We must endeavor to persevere.

Trolleyguy
Trolleyguy on March 10, 2012 at 7:42 am

A church might preserve the building somewhat, but it also removes the property from the tax rolls. Not a smart idea for a city that needs all the revenue it can get.

SixCornerd
SixCornerd on March 10, 2012 at 1:26 am

Historic Portage Theater’s Future is Threatened by Ald. John Arena In September 2011, I was approached by the leadership of the Chicago Tabernacle seeking my support for the conversion of the Portage Theater to a church. I offered to have them present their plan to my office and follow the established zoning review process. Declining, they asked that I weigh in before they invested time and money in pursuing a building use that I might oppose. After consulting the Six Corners Association and local community groups, I issued a letter opposing the requested use but made it clear that we would welcome the congregation to our community. I directed them to alternate locations that might suit their needs.

Despite my letter, Chicago Tabernacle continued to pursue the purchase of the building. To date, we have not received the documents needed to begin our full zoning review process. We learned last week that they intended to file with the Department of Zoning for a special use permit allowing them to operate the historic Portage Theater as a church. Yesterday, the permit notification was posted per city code.

I also requested and received from the Department of Zoning the changes proposed for the theater. They are extensive. Chicago Tabernacle plans to remove the theater marquee, eliminate of more than half of the apartments in the building and evict of many established businesses in the storefronts. They also propose interior changes that could significantly impact the character of this historic theater.

Let me say loud and clear that I am not opposed to the church moving into our community. I will continue to seek a resolution that benefits both Chicago Tabernacle and our community.

The loss of this historic icon in the heart of the Six Corners Shopping District would reverse years of planning and development. The historic Portage Theater can serve as an economic engine for that area. As we prepare to present our case to the Zoning Board of Appeals, I ask that you share your thoughts by emailing .

broken36
broken36 on February 9, 2011 at 4:21 pm

totally support the Historic Portage Theater! the staff is awesomely helpful! made our wedding an uber-success!

BATMAN3
BATMAN3 on November 19, 2010 at 6:35 am

THEY NOW HAVE ONCE A MONTH MONSTER CLASSIC MOVIES PLUS A TOY AND MONSTER SHOW IN THE LOBBY…..THE DEALERS AND PEOPLE THERE ARE REALY COOL …GO TO THE PORTAGE WEBSITE AND SEE THE COOL LINE FOR THIS MONTH.KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK YOU MONSTER FANS……

broken36
broken36 on August 13, 2010 at 12:44 pm

anyone happen to know the name of the font used in the sign? i’ve seen it used in a recent flyer, but have not been able to i.d. it myself, or been able to contact Dennis about it.

Broan
Broan on April 13, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Here is a nice photo of the Sears store at Six Corners from the 60s.
View link
View link

jwarren
jwarren on April 2, 2010 at 9:37 am

Actually, the organ in the youtube video is the Silent Film Society of Chicago’s Allen electronic organ (now used as a traveling organ). Due to a “cultural climate change” at the Gateway (Copernicus Center) the organ was covered over by a stage extension making it unplayed and unplayable for nearly five years until its rescue by society volunteers. The organ is now at the Portage.

jwballer
jwballer on March 30, 2010 at 8:26 pm

The gateways organ came here right?
Heres a video
View link

Eponymous1
Eponymous1 on March 11, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Sure thing Paul2. Let me know if you have any others, I only came across your posts for here and MB.

broken36
broken36 on March 11, 2010 at 7:40 am

brilliant Eponymous1! thanks for this one especially, as this is the venue i’m working with.

Eponymous1
Eponymous1 on March 10, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Paul2: Better late then never I hope. According to that day’s Tribune it was “King of Jazz” with Paul Whiteman along with something called the Million-Dollar Fashion Review.

jwarren
jwarren on January 30, 2010 at 11:28 am

Actually, the Portage opened with a 3/20 Moller which was replaced by a 3/8 Wurlitzer in 1927.

jwballer
jwballer on January 28, 2010 at 5:09 pm

A 3m Wurlitzer] was installed in the theatre in 1920

broken36
broken36 on January 19, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Would anyone happen to know what ran at the Portage, Friday, October 10, 1930?

mp775
mp775 on December 7, 2009 at 8:02 am

Having met both, I can assure you that Mr. Warren’s personality is such that Mr. Wolkowicz is absolutely justified in his decision to keep Mr. Warren chained up in an organ chamber, feeding on a steady diet of gruel and day-old Subway sandwiches, when he’s not accompanying a silent film or making “guest appearances” at horror film fests. But man, can Jay play!

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill on November 10, 2009 at 12:43 am

A study in the duality of man. Dennis Wolkowicz: one of the nicest guys in the world. Jay Warren: cold, subdued, reclusive. I can’t understand it. These two gentlemen share a lot in common; but, they have divided personalities. Wolkowicz is a man of the people; Warren retreats below the catacombs of the Portage and plays the organ non-stop (the Phantom of the Portage?). It’s no small wonder that these two men are never seen in the same room together.