Portage Theatre

4050 N. Milwaukee Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60641

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Showing 176 - 200 of 202 comments

Elizabeth on January 23, 2005 at 8:58 am

in the picture above there is a circle between the marquees
the clock would have been there. Im going to see if I cant get a picture of the big letter sign posted.

rroberts on January 23, 2005 at 5:46 am

?? There is no clock that I know of and I do not know what letter sign to which you refer. Sorry.

Broan on January 21, 2005 at 7:59 pm

What are the big letter sign and clock that you refer to?

rroberts on January 21, 2005 at 5:42 pm

A well worded business plan would work. I can help. E-mail me or call our office. (630) 221-0667

Elizabeth on January 21, 2005 at 10:51 am

Do you think a petition would work in any sort?

rroberts on January 21, 2005 at 10:10 am

Elizabeth: Great questions. Alderman Levar was absolutely NO help to us with the Portage Park Theatre. He did not facilitate the departments of the city (health, building, fire, etc.) and would NOT sign off on a generator that is needed now for all PPAs (Public Places of Amusement.) By the way, there are great secret rooms and a magnificent old vaudeville proscenium hidden behind the movie screens. We could have opened it and been running movies now. It is sad. The Landlord is a nice guy but does not want to invest any money in the theatre. I would LOVE to come back and help after our success here at the Wheaton Grand Theatre.

Elizabeth on January 21, 2005 at 9:29 am

Oh I wanted to ask if you knew of where the big letter sign was that came from the building? the clock? Is there a basement? Any secret rooms?
Ok laugh, Im curious thats all.

Elizabeth on January 21, 2005 at 9:27 am

Know what? maybe the Patio would be a better choice for a movie theater they can keep their capacity low,more shows,play two a week for 3 days a piece and then Sunday play a First Run A for what the larger theaters charge..4-7$Limited tickets.
Hey…that’s why they gave us two blockbusters huh?……
Anyway, The portage has a larger capacity for a bigger venue.

Paul, Did you have any qualms with Levar?

Elizabeth on January 21, 2005 at 8:55 am

I was looking into a maybe smaller venue for a NeverEnding Story Convention / Meeting.Right now Im in the Midst of pulling together a fan base,and possibilities of a location, but the thought of politics in Rosemont kinda detoured me away from the convention center. This wont be for another 1 to 2 years though.

As for the thought of a CVS??? Have you seen our neighborhood lately?
Its bad enough we already have two blockbusters within walking distance! Thats about all the entertainment and shopping we have without going towards that overcrowded mall!Oh forgive me we have a Marshalls.
Besides theres a Jewel Osco, and three Walgreens!we dont even need to be putting the thought into their money hungry corporate heads.

What Im saying is the neighborhood itself is becoming pretty pathetic. Its disturbing and sad!
We need an “in stone” foundation building thats says WE ARE PORTAGE PARK!
and we need it there to pick this neighborhood back up,for a good use! (Education in the Arts,or make it home to the next second city, or something worth while a dinner theater maybe,Auction House.) instead of knocking it down for condos!(Which that big Klee building is there for)Or putting retail in it that says nothing about the neighboorhood(once again what the Klee building is for). For god sakes we have an olympic size pool that held the Olympic try outs! that says Portage Park and it deserves so much better than what it has become today!We need something to Keep Our Own.
We also have the Parking, which says more than the Patio where you have to fight though dumb people pulling stupid moves on Irving Park going to a deli!!!

We need this theater (maybe not so much of a theater to nessisarily house movies or (hell Keep a screen!)at six corners but the building needs to stay too!. The apartments in the building… they can have there condo fun with.

Its nice to see that the lights were on,For as long as I have been alive I had never saw those lights on…Until closing the recyclery one night. When that building just illuminated the street It brought tears to my eyes! Someone cared about it that much.

rroberts on January 19, 2005 at 8:29 pm

If you only knew the troubles I had with the city and that theatre!

rbank on January 18, 2005 at 12:32 pm

The Portage Theatre should be able to copy the success of the Davis Theatre on Lincoln Avenue, there’s plenty of room in that building for more than one screen and virtually no competition for miles around.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 18, 2005 at 8:33 am

I think you are right, Ken. My comment could have been more carefully worded…and Paul, I applaud your efforts in Wheaton.

rroberts on January 3, 2005 at 6:27 am

You are a smart man, Ken. It does take a village to save a theatre!

jansser on January 2, 2005 at 6:54 pm

I am aware of the past tribulations you encountered. I’ve been in the area for awhile. (I used to actually go to the Portage to see movies).
The United States is a very young country, (200+ years), and tearing down our architectural past certainly doesn’t help preserve any cultural threads. I only wish I had the vision to see a viable option. I would love to support a creative, community-enriching solution. Coming up with one isn’t my strong point.
With Regards,
Ken Janssen

rroberts on January 2, 2005 at 5:28 pm

To Life’s Too Short & Ken Janssen: I agree. Before we took it over, it WAS a pigsty! I should know: I ran the Portage Park Theatre for a year. The owners were well intentioned but did not know the game. The city did NOT help us at all. They put every imaginable obstacle in our way. The neighbors really wanted us to open and tried to help. Chicago is still a great city BUT its bureacracy brings it down. Some structures should be saved and some should be considered for other purposes. Turning a profit IS the American Way but some of us try to save the old and make a living.

jansser on January 2, 2005 at 1:19 pm

And when we have a CVS on every corner, we will complain how boring
our neigborhoods have become. Surely, there is a more creative solution/use for an old theater. Does it need to be a theater? Maybe not. Does it need to be an overpriced pharmacy, selling trinkets, and junk? I hope not.
Can every old structure be saved? No. Should every old structure be preserved? Probably not. But some thought needs to be given to the solution. Turning a profit for a few, while saddling a community with something it really doesn’t need, isn’t very creative.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 1, 2005 at 1:43 pm

I saw a movie here in the 90’s. It was a dump while it was still running…smelling, dark, musty, dirty. No vintage decoration remaining, that I could see. It sounds like it has gotten worse. Is this place really worth the effort? Why not put energy toward the Patio…not far away. That’s a bona-fide movie palace, with one screen, in great shape, and an uncertain future.

Preservation efforts should be focused and intelligent. Battles must be chosen wisely. The Gateway is down Milwaukee Avenue a few blocks…a functioning vintage screen in great shape. How many old theaters can Jefferson Park support, and how many millions would it take to fix the Portage up? Chicago preservationists have more important things to worry about…the Uptown, the New Regal, the Patio, the Ramova. The best remaining part of the Portage is the exterior. I wouldn’t think twice if CVS dropped a drug store inside the auditorium.

rroberts on September 4, 2004 at 6:10 am

The old Portage is a mess inside. A church that rented it left is a disaster. Both screens are down. What project are you working on? Ask to see it first! Call the Jenny the building manager. Her phone number is on a note in the window of the theatre. You should be able to rent it for a few hundred a day. Make sure you have an insurance certificate. If you have trouble, e-mail me.

Elizabeth on September 3, 2004 at 3:28 pm

Does anyone know what it will cost to rent out the theatre for 2 days?If someone could help that would be great!

rroberts on August 24, 2004 at 12:25 pm

Magnum is the security company that rents space in the store to the south of the theatre. I know that a church had a lease but messed up with the zoning. It appears the old landlords took back the theatre as Perl is listed on the title of the building.

wmnaras on August 23, 2004 at 3:13 am

Just drove by the Portage Park yesterday and noted that inside the doors of the Portage Park hangs a sign for Goldberg and Perl Inc, (773-477-9700), advertising the theatre is for lease.

A bit more curious is the marquee stating “THIS SIGN IS FOR RENT” and also “MAGNUM SECURITY 773 205 7700” — see a photo while it is still on Magnum’s website at: http://www.magnumsi.com/images/employment.jpg

What the heck?

richardg on May 25, 2004 at 7:17 pm

I drove by the Portage theatre on May 22,2004 and it’s definitely not open for business.

wmnaras on March 22, 2004 at 4:28 pm

As I understand it, plans to reopen the theatre are currently on hold, with no anticipated reopening date. However, if you’d like to get the latest news regarding the theatre, add your name to the mailing list at the following webpage: http://www.portagetheater.com

jansser on March 9, 2004 at 7:13 am

I tried calling 773-202-1010, and there was no connection. Is the theater still open? I’m hoping the 6-corners can be revitalized into what Lincoln Square has become. With the influx of new home building in Portage, and Irving Park, there is no reason why this area couldn’t support such a reatail/entertainment area. I know my neighbors, and myself, are tired of having to leave our neighborhood to shop (books, clothes, music, housewares, think Crate and Barrel) dine, Chipotle Grille? and entertainment. Living in the city should afford the opportunity to walk to such amenities.

Elizabeth on January 13, 2004 at 8:13 am

I support you Paul!!!!
Keep the beauty of this theatre alive!!!
Good luck with the city!!!
God bless you and our neighborhood treasure!
It’s the only thing we have left….(so to speak)
Good Luck Paul!!!
Thank you!