The Portage Theater is located near six corners on the northwest side of Chicago. It opened on December, 1920. It was first called the Potage Park Theater.
It was built for the Ascher Brothers chain. The architects were Mark Kalischer and Henry Newhouse. It was built exclusively as a movie house. It had one movie screen. Its capacity was 1,938 seats.
The auditorium had a megaphone shape. The theater design was Beaux Arts opera house.
In 1940, the Portage was purchased by the Balaban and Katz Chain. There was renovation of the marquee, lobby, and foyer into an art deco motif. It remained in operation for years. In the 1960’s, it began to show Second run movies.
In the 1980’s, it was again renovated. The movie auditorium was split in two by a wall. Over the years, the Portage was also managed by ABC Theaters and M & R Theaters.
The Portage was closed between 20001 and 2006. It reopened in 2006 after another renovation. The auditorium was reconverted to a single screen. Seating capacity was 1300 seats. It exhibited both silent and classic sound films.
The Portage Theater has been home of the Silent Film Society of Chicago and the northwest Chicago Film Society. It has been a participant in the Chicago Polish Film Festival.
In March, 2016, Eddie Carranza sold the Portage Theater, the eight storefronts in the theater building and 34 apartments for 2.5 million dollars to BCL Multifamily LLC (part of private equity firm Barnett Capital , LTD).
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