Portage Theater

4050 N. Milwaukee Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60641

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Showing 101 - 125 of 195 comments

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on October 28, 2006 at 4:51 pm

Per my above comment, I forgot to add the letter (B) to my comment about smaller independent theatres!

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on October 28, 2006 at 4:46 pm

My girlfriend and I went to see THE MUMMY here last night (10/27/2006). Rich Koz made an appearance as his SVENGOOLIE character. He made a “star entrance”, riding up in an old hearse. The red carpet was laid out for him and his “entourage”—some cheerleaders, a guy in a mummy suit and a guy in a Frankenstein’s Monster suit. For those of you who don’t know who Rich Koz is, he works for WCIU-TV 26. He is the last on-air local entertainment TV host (ie not news nor Public TV) in Chicago. He hosts a Three Stooges show as himself and he does the SVENGOOLIE show, which is old monster movies. Click here http://home.comcast.net/~grotto1/richkoz2.html or here http://www.wciu.com/ for further information on him.

The theatre was fairly crowded for this. The line to get in for people who pre-purchased their tickets, was down the block and around the corner. This takes me back to the days when (A) Chicago was a haven for diverse, local programming (Bozo/Bob Bell, Ray Rayner, Frazier Thomas, etc). It also reminds me of the days when smaller independent theatres HAD monster movie festivals and other special programming. Hey, even Plitt’s Will Rogers Theatre on Belmont Avenue did live children’s shows into the 1970s!

I think that if the remaining small houses such as the LaGrange, the Pickwick, the Logan did more film festivals and made it fun to attend, and reached out to their respective communities for support, people would go! They sure did last night.

mmccune
mmccune on October 6, 2006 at 5:04 pm

The Chicago Horror Film Festival is at the Portage this weekend (October 6-8, 2006). I haven’t been in the Portage in over 5 years and can’t wait to see the theatre in its newly restored glory!.

http://chicagohorrorfest.com

portageparkmom
portageparkmom on October 3, 2006 at 11:06 pm

I would love to have you attend the film festival we have so much to talk about. The Portage Theater has all of a sudden taken off most weekends for the month of October are now booked up and more are coming including an NBC casting call. check out their web site for more details of what is happening at our beloved Portage Theater.
www.portagetheater.org

portageparkmom
portageparkmom on October 1, 2006 at 11:39 pm

The Six Corners Business District will host its inaugural Six Corners Monster Film Festival at the Portage Theater Friday Oct 27th – Tuesday October 31st. Monsters will roam the streets of Six Corners, Pedicabs will deliver patrons to the world famous Fantasy Costume Headquarters and a variety of fabulous restaurants.
Svengoolie will make a guest appearance and sign autographs on opening night. The theater lobby will be decorated in a haunted house theme and each night will host a costume contest (dress as a character from the movie) for additional information go to our web site http://www.sixcornerschicago.com/monsters
The purpose of this event is to promote the Portage Theater and the six corners shopping district. We hope to host events like this several times a year to promote the neighborhood, the commercial district and the theater.

ISUProfessor
ISUProfessor on August 13, 2006 at 3:01 pm

I stumbled on this site with great nostalgia. I grew up near Harlm and Irving and my first job as a 16 year-old (1964) was as an usher at the Portage. I met my first girlfriend there, she worked behind the candy counter. I have fond memories of the people who worked there: the 80+ year old projectionist, the seemingly ancient (to a 16 year old) ticket-taker (Sam) who would shuffle across the lobby to his station at the wall-to-wall glass entranceway, the manager who kept the office door locked while “confering” with the head candy girl, and the red jacket, blue pants and bow tie the ushers were required to wear.

Ah…the old days.

mp775
mp775 on June 21, 2006 at 3:31 pm

The official site is up at http://www.portagetheater.org Watch for details on the Silent Summer Film Festival, coming July 19 to August 25.

mp775
mp775 on June 13, 2006 at 11:46 pm

We’re working on a website, temporarily up at http://www.hopetunnel.org/portage Nothing much yet, and not all the links work.

There will be a Chamber of Commerce event this Saturday, with a screening of Pirates of the Caribbean at 6:30 P.M.

MaryP
MaryP on June 13, 2006 at 5:28 pm

They’re doing the “Serenity” charity benefit on June 23. Details at: http://www.serenity.reversedrive.com/

mp775
mp775 on June 11, 2006 at 2:11 pm

They’re showing Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein and To Be or Not to Be this weekend

mp775
mp775 on May 29, 2006 at 1:01 am

More stuff coming up – Next weekend, June 3 & 4, will be That Night in Rio and Weekend in Havana. Love will be shown June 22-25.

uptownadviser
uptownadviser on May 26, 2006 at 12:42 pm

Please correct: In the 80s, its auditorium was divided in two, and the interior received a modernization in which much of the little that remained of its original decor was lost.

Is not true!~

The division project simply built a wall in the not-exactly-middle of the auditorium. Very little original decor was lost. Aside from long-gone (and kind of ugly light fixtures), the auditorium retains almost all of its decorative plaster and details.

It has been lovingly renovated for single-screen presentation!

mp775
mp775 on May 26, 2006 at 12:27 am

In addition to the Silent Film Festival, the Portage is showing Call Northside 777 and Niagara several times over Memorial Day weekend, and Friends of the Uptown will be presenting Uptown: Portrait of a Palace at 8:00 P.M. on June 8. Also coming up is Vladan Nikloic’s Love.

jwarren
jwarren on May 22, 2006 at 3:00 pm

Organist Mark Noller did a great job accompanying the Chaplin films for the Portage Theater’s opening program to the delight of the 1,000 plus in attendance. Mark is house organist at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre and is regularly featured by the Silent Film Society of Chicago along with associate organists Dennis Scott and Jay Warren.

Broan
Broan on May 22, 2006 at 1:36 pm

The seats are the largely same ones that were in there when it was a twin. Seating has been reduced to 1321 due to a much-expanded stage, larger seats, and deeper aisles. Also as an interesting note, the original (tiny) stage and proscenium is still behind the screen, blacked out so as to not interfere with the modern screen, now among the largest in Chicagoland.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on May 22, 2006 at 1:25 pm

I was there yesterday (5/21/2006) for the 6:30pm showing of MODERN TIMES. There were only about a dozen people in the auditorium. I hope that the owners of the Portage can keep the momentum going and earn enough to keep the place open!

They did a good job of restoring the place. Maybe not as elaborate as the Tivoli in Downers Grove, but nice nevertheless. The seats installed there seem like they were re-used from another theatre. They are comfortable but do not have cup holders. They are however staggered so that everybody has a good view.

I never thought I’d see the place re-open. The last movie I saw there was PREDATOR (circa 1990). Even though the place had been twinned, it hadn’t been cleaned.

Best of luck to the new owners!

BTW, the posting needs to be updated. It should now be listed as “open” with a single screen. The function should be “classic & silent films.”

tonyc86
tonyc86 on May 22, 2006 at 1:52 am

Since it looks like the people who had responsibility for opening up the Portage reads these posts, I just wanted to say thank you for my wonderful weekend!! I saw a Charlie Chaplin film on the 19th and another today on the 21st. Thank you so much for reopening this theater. I used to come here in the 80s and since I don’t live that far away, I plan on coming a lot more to support you.

I never saw a silent film on the big screen before, nor have I ever saw one with a live organ player. Thank you for sharing that experience with me!!

I just wanted to tell you that it was so nice to share a small piece of my childhood with my wife. Thank you so much for that!! Although I’m not a big silent film buff, I would be more than happy to join your organization if it will help keep the Portage going. You did a great job!!! Thank you so much again!! I hope there will be more people on the NW side supporting you as well!!

Best Regards,
Tony

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 22, 2006 at 12:14 am

Boy is that ever an improvement!

mp775
mp775 on May 21, 2006 at 10:56 pm

Here are some photos of the inside & outside of the Portage, taken today:

View link

jwarren
jwarren on May 9, 2006 at 9:54 pm

The Portage opens May 19th. Check out silentfilmchicago.com

terracottapie
terracottapie on May 9, 2006 at 8:09 pm

Devotees of the Portage:
I haven’t heard much about when the Portage is set to start showing films again regularly or putting on shows, but I have hear that there will be some kind of a screening there on June 8th with some documentaries pertaining to Uptown and its own dormant theater. Should be a gas! The Portage Lives!

Broan
Broan on April 26, 2006 at 4:11 pm

Yes and yes. Although I was never inside the theater before, I was shown pictures of it and it appeared in very poor shape indeed. It’s been repainted inside and is very quaint and cozy. Although it doesn’t really qualify as a restoration, it is done very tastefully and resembles the original decor to a large extent. Really the only major differences from pictures dating to the original is paint, and the old organ false balconies were removed when ‘scope came in, and boxes on the rear walls were enclosed not long after opening. Any drapery on the sidewalls is gone. They’ve done a ton of work and a great job, I think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised to see what it looks like now. Dennis used to manage the Gateway and yes, it was the same festival that was held there, although they should be happening more frequently now that they have a permanent home. SFC also continues to do screenings at other theaters like the Arcada and Pickwick.