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Added Mar 15 2012

Monday, March 26, 7 p.m. at the Portage Theater, 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave. and learn what you can do to save the Portage!

The Six Corners, Portage Park Neighborhood and Old Irving Park associations invite you to attend a community meeting in order to learn what you can do to support preserving this iconic theater.

Chicago Tabernacle would like to convert the theater into their worship space, remove the marquee, alter the auditorium, and eliminate the storefronts and half the apartments for offices and classrooms. You can find the recent Chicago Tribune story on the proposal here.

I have encouraged the Chicago Tabernacle to follow my zoning and special use permit process since last September. After I brought it up with them again last week, our office received a phone call this week from the Chicago Tabernacle indicating that they now intend to follow this more community-oriented development plan.

As the first step in that process, the church must submit documents indicating the extent of their plans to my office. Following that, I will meet with the church, and their plans will be reviewed by our community zoning advisory council. I will also ask the church to present their plans to the community at large.

The church has not yet submitted the required documents. The only indication we have that they will engage in this process is their word. Once they submit the documents, we will schedule the required meeting. I’ll let you know when that meeting is scheduled through this newsletter and our website.

There is significant support for preserving the historic Portage Theater from throughout the city and around the region.

Share your thoughts by emailing

  • Bob Kastigar 15 Years North Park, bike rider, retired

    Here's an alternative...

    After prayer, discernment and a series of conversations, the Congregation, at a special meeting on December 4, 2011, voted to disband as a worshiping community, completing its ministry on June 10, 2012.

    Mayfair Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded on February 4, 1931, 81 years ago Countless men, women, and children have shared God’s gifts of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion at Mayfair.

    4335 W. Lawrence Ave. ( )
    Chicago, IL 60630
    773 725-7879

    George C. Loellick

  • kenji Find us here -->

    Probably not Bob. Not big enough.

  • EveryBlock Sarah EveryBlock Community Manager

    Thanks for posting this meeting. Please feel free to add as an event so it appears on the community calendar.

    In the future, when you want to share an event, you can click on the large white box on your homepage that you typically use for neighbor messages and click on the event tab.

    About our new events feature:

  • I Heart PPark I Heart Portage Park and love the quirky stuff..

    Sarah- I think Six Corners Assoc already created the event.

  • Focus on keeping the Portage out of their hands. No point in trying to help them find another venue. There's more to the agenda than just having more seats. They want the Portage, and that is what they want & intend to fight for.

  • Chad Sexington III Illustrator / Sculptor

    The best way for people to keep this theater from going dark is to attend their events and patronize their excellent snack bar. And, if you have the means/inclination, the whole place can be rented for your own special event (birthdays, wedding, private screenings) for VERY REASONABLE RATES. I myself rented The Portage for an evening and ran some films for friends just for fun . . . I plan on doing it again later this Summer, theater status permitting.

    This situation/conversation needs to stay framed in a way that emphasizes the community/cultural contributions The Portage already makes and NOT how terrible it would be if a church took over.

    That said, I personally (as a resident of the ward and small business owner/operator) I don't see the value in The Portage Theater closing and another church opening. A church won't contribute to the tax base or elevate neighboring commerce . . . in fact, a church in this area pretty much runs counter to all the recent efforts to make the Six Corners a unique Chicago destination.

  • Inactive user

    I just read on another thread that Alderman Arena knew about this since last September. Why did he not ask us to rally then? So much time has been lost and deals have been made. From what I understand they signed a contract and the seller accepted it. I am so upset he did not let the public know about this until it was practically to late. I hope the buyer realizes we are not giving up and going to fight this. Then next we need to kick him out of office the next term. He is to secretive about all things. All these secret zoning committee meetings and advisory boards. Who is the committee he has formed to look over their plans? Does anyone know? We have a our community zoning advisory council? Really? This does not settle with me well. He also said if he wins this committeeman race he will form a committee to run the political post. What does he do as alderman other than delegate? He gives us the illusion of inclusion but that is far from the truth.

  • Chad Sexington III Illustrator / Sculptor

    I've read the various releases and I don't really get the impression that "deals have been made". There's a certain amount of due diligence any potential buyer (church or otherwise) needs to line-up before being able to make a purchase offer.

    The Portage Theater has been openly for sale for quite some time. It should come as no surprise that they've had interest parties.

    Again, if more people would patronize this venue, the whole situation would be moot. It's not over 'til it's over . . . get to The Portage Theater ASAP and spend a few bucks!

    There's been some discussion about them starting a Kickstarter campaign BUT the owners don't feel like now is quite the appropriate time . . . that's the type of thing that makes me feel like the situation in not so immediately dire.

    Just my 2¢.

    BTW - I have no business connection to The Portage Theater . . . I'm just a longtime patron and lover of film/history.

  • While I agree that patronzing the Portage is worthwhile, I don't believe the owners of the building profit. The theatre is leased. However I believe those leasing the theatre are trying to put together a counter offer.

  • Inactive user

    Chad, they are selling the entire building, which includes numerous storefronts and apartments, not just the theater. So the theater would have to become a landlord as well.


    Hope this helps bring out the residents. No neighborhood needs another store front church they only help make property taxes go up. Like the man said - go to the Portage Theater and spend your money in the neighborhood help the businesses there to keep your property taxes down (they could be higher).

  • Bob Kastigar 15 Years North Park, bike rider, retired

    Any report on the meeting on 3/26? I couldn't make it and wondered if any new information was available.

  • kenji Find us here -->
  • What? Is Mr. Garrido changing his mind again? Just a few months ago he was against tifs, wanted them “suspended” and “abolished”. Now he wants to use taxpayer dollars for a private movie house. You can't keep up with this guy and which side he picks from one event to the next. He sure would be in an awkward situation now if he was dealing with this issue and in office. I guess it’s easier to be on the sidelines.

  • Inactive user

    Why do the claws always come out? Put them away please and focus on saving the theater!

  • John Garrido Gladstone Park resident, Attorney, Police Officer

    @pglick, thank you for your input. It's simply a proposed idea to utilize funds that currently exist in the Portage Park TIF. My position on TIFs hasn't changed at all.

    This is about the theater and ideas to protect it. Many plans have been submitted to the Alderman. They are working on the second option right now; private money combined with TIF money. My idea is just another option.

  • kenji Find us here -->

    @Jac, Garrido started this thread, pglick's reply is on topic. Now whether or not it's something Garrido wants to hear is something else.

    Point being it doesn't seem like "claws" to me.

  • kenji Find us here -->

    correction....Garrido started his own thread about the TIF topic here on EB. Arena started this thread.

  • Inactive user

    Kenji -

    Is " Mr. Garrido changing his mind again? and "You can't keep up with this guy and which side he picks from one event to the next"

    a positive way to to lead into a conversation. That is what I call picking a fight. Either way, It is a great idea regardless of who came ip with and should be explored.

    I will not partake in the silliness. I said what I had to say and I am unsubscribing. Have a great day!

  • kenji Find us here -->

    But you just asked me questions? Now you unsubsribe? Weird.

    Yeah Garrido had a good idea in his thread about TIF's.

    I think he should get involved with one of the organizations working here in Six Corners and around the 45th Ward. They all can use more volunteers.

  • Inactive user

    Bitter, party of one!

  • kenji Find us here -->


  • Dirk Portage Park

    Where's Danny Thomas when you need him?

  • Inactive user

    @Jake it is not bitter, honestly aren't you the one who sounds bitter with these comments? Can't we all just get along? Work for a common cause? I would hate to see this plan of action be ignored because of past histories. It is a very good plan and for the record I do know a lot about TIF funds as well as SBIF funds. In fact, I have a new restaurant opening next week which was funded by a SBIF.

    @Kenji I guess I can not unsubscribe I can only mute people. I like you so I choose not to mute you. So I guess I am still here. I knew the usual puppet gallery would come along with negative responses and I do not care to participate.

  • kenji Find us here -->

    @jac, to not see this thread while logged in or get emails when there's replies, go up to the original post. There's three teeny options on the bottom right hand of the post, Mute, Hide, Report.

    Click "Hide" and you won't see this thread anymore and you won't get emails when anyone replies.

    ..but being you really do enjoy bantering here on EB, it seems "Hiding" some posts and not others might take some pleasure out of this past-time for you.

    I also think you mean "peanut gallery" not "puppet gallery", correct me if I'm wrong, although I bet Jake does look like Charlie McCarthy in real life.

  • Inactive user

    Kenji, I am not into fisting. And I look more like Lambchop. It's funny how the failed candidates claim to be positive but always are directly or indirectly sniping from the wings at the person chosen by the voters.

  • Inactive user

    Jake - would you like to meet for coffee? I would like to meet you. I have not failed. In fact, I succeeded in what I set out to achieve. Why is this about me? Lets meet to discuss.

    John Arena let me congradulate ....... I wish you the best of luck in your new post.

    I have no hard feelings. It feels good to have someone mail out 6 different mailings to win an election to beat me. Hey, I even won a precinct. Spending around 2k. vs upwards of 50k spent on mailers etc. I am very happy with having gotten my name out there and it was a very postive experience.

    Kenji , I meant puppet. Thanks for the tip.

  • Inactive user

    Nah, you're not my type.

  • wow.

  • I sense narcissism. Jake, sincerely, I think you "need" help. Or rather, those with whom you have actual relationships with, need you to get help. But the nature of the disorder will keep that from happening. Studies show it progresses with age.

  • Inactive user

    It was a joke, B. She clearly wasn't asking me on a date. Maybe this internet thing isn't for you because you have trouble picking up tone.

  • Ok, ok I know it was said in jest, but such jokes aren't all that funny. It's really annoying when someone says something particularly insulting, or just mean, and then follows up with "I was just kidding" . My dad & brother do this regularly & it's just lame. If I hadn't seen so many of your negative comments I wouldn't have made mine above, so I guess despite knowing you weren't really exactly serious on top of the negativity & whatnot, I reacted.
    Regardless, have fun on the coffee date. :v) And maybe see you at the next Fischmans event

  • Inactive user

    Maybe you have just seen me on a few threads. Negative comments tend to be about gangbangers/PP shooters, people pretending to be in one party when they are really in the other, and the megachurch. But I've been thanked over 200 times, so some people must see a good side.

  • nonetoday

    Lol Jake, thanking yourself 200 times from other accounts doesnt count.

  • kenji Find us here -->


  • Inactive user

    Good work, Nancy Drew, but dig deeper. Think meta. What if one of my fake accounts accused me of thanking myself? That way no one would suspect my favorite one. Well, to punish myself for catching myself I am now officially retiring my Kenji character. It was good while it lasted but somewhere it jumped the shark and its Q rating went down the crapper.

  • sheesh, she went inactive again.

  • pattymelt is mostly in charge

    Not sure if it has been posted here on another thread and I was wondering so I went a wandering on the web and according to the PPNA website the next ZBA meeting will be on Friday, June 15th, at 121 N. LaSalle, Room 200.

    I am new to EveryBlock but see there is a calendar and I don't see the meeting posted, not sure if I should post it or leave that to those heading up the effort.

    Also, I just made a donation to the effort and I encourage you to do the same! Be a local investor!

  • OParker Native Chicagoan

    Patty, please fell free to post it!
    If we all wait around waiting for someone else to do something we'll become another city hall:) Welcome aboard!

  • OldIrving Anna on a quest for craft brewed "zimne piwo"

    Hi--the reason that it's not posted is that it hasn't been 100% confirmed yet. We assume that it will be heard at the June ZBA meeting, unless a special meeting is scheduled prior to that.

    Welcome to EB!

  • pattymelt is mostly in charge

    Thanks, Anna, I think it's good to get the date out there even if it's tentative. My work schedule is set by the month and changing it can be tricky. Also, people may be making vacation plans, etc.

  • pattymelt is mostly in charge

    6Cornered posted a link in another thread that linked to a really good article on the theater that is very well written and well worth reading--especially if you like puppies! It presents a good case for preserving it as a theater and quotes a pastor from an area church who supports the theater and is concerned about the loss of affordable apartments, not sure if there is a link to it in this thread already so sorry if I give you déjà vu:

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Posted to Ward 45

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