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Classic Movies, Classic Theater

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 26, 2007 4:57PM

2007_10_ABBOTT_AND_COSTELLO_3.jpgSince its restoration in 2005 the Portage Theater has become a popular destination for music, movies (it's the home base for the Silent Film Society of Chicago) and live theater. This time of year, Portage Theater management and the folks at the Six Corners Association use the theater to screen some classic scary movies. This year's line-up casts a wide net across silent film, the classic Universal monster movies, modern horror, and a little bit of Ed Wood-style guerilla filmmaking thrown in for good measure..

The Six Corners Monster Film Festival kicks off this evening with a screening of "The Wolf Man" starring Lon Chaney, Jr. in an iconic performance. Svengoolie will also be making an appearance this evening to sign autographs and judge a costume contest (while we're thinking of Sven, have you seen his Myspace page? We hear everyone has one). Tomorrow's feature is "A Nightmare on Elm Street", which brings back memories for us (we first saw Freddy Krueger on the big screen when the Portage was a second-run film house, oh so many years ago). Sunday is the standard family double feature of "Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy" and "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein". These two movies combined Universal's two guaranteed franchises at the time: monsters, and Bud and Lou's hijinx.

Monday's presentation will be a screening of "The Phantom of the Opera" with the "Man of 1,000 Faces", Lon Chaney. The film will be screened with organ accompaniment from SFSC co-founder Dennis Wolkowicz (as his organ playing alter-ego, "Jay Warren"). Tuesday, cult film legend and Des Plaines native David "The Rock" Nelson will be on hand to screen his 1993 film "Devil Ant and The Mummy 1993 A.D." Halloween night brings attendees a screening of "Halloween" (John Carpenter's original, not Rob Zombie's recent re-make). For more information, click the link to the film festival website above.

Image via "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" on DVD, from the author's DVD collection.