Company purchases Portage Theater
by BRIAN NADIG
The 98-year-old Portage Theater, which has been closed since February, has a new owner.
Portage Theater LLC acquired the building’s 1,300-seat theater at 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave. in April from Barnett Capital, but Barnett reportedly continues to own the rest of the building, including its residential units and storefronts.
Few details about the new owner’s plans for the theater have been released, but renovations are planned.
Alderman John Arena’s chief of staff Owen Brugh said last week that formal plans have not been submitted, but that the alderman wants a vibrant theater that will enhance the commercial district’s revitalization efforts.
Six Corners Chamber of Commerce member Joe Angelastri said that the chamber understands that there could be a "significant investment into the building and we hope (the new owner) succeeds."
The theater was designated a city landmark in 2013.
"This is a huge step in preserving the character of Six Corners. It gives us an added tool in keeping the Portage intact for future generations to enjoy," Arena said in a 2013 statement.
The theater’s previous tenant, Portage Theater Management, agreed to a buyout of its lease and held its last show there about 3 months ago. The group continues to operate the Patio Theater, 6008 W. Irving Park Road.
According to a document released from the city as part of a Freedom of Information Act request, the management group also agreed to surrender its licenses for the Portage to the city.