Located at Six Corners in the Portage Park neighborhood of Chicago's Northwest Side, the Portage Theater was one of the oldest movie houses in Chicago. The Portage Theater opened on December 11, 1920 as the Portage Park Theatre, and was built strictly for showing films. But since it was built, it became known as a venue for all sorts of things.
The Portage remained a popular fixture of the neighborhood, becoming a second-run movie house in the 1960s. In the 1980s, the theater underwent a dramatic change when a wall was constructed down the middle of the existing auditorium, resulting in two oddly-shaped cinemas. The Portage was closed down in 2001 after operating sporadically for the previous couple years.
Why did people love the Portage Theater?
People loved the staff that worked there, the look of the building and how spacious the building was. This allowed the noise to carry around the theater rooms really nicely, so the sound was always great whenever you were watching a movie there. This also meant that the theater was really cold during the winter months, but that was part of the charm!
It was an older place - some people liked the 'vintage' feel, but others felt like it needed to be renovated. Unfortunately it closed down before that could ever happy. We miss the Portage Theater!