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Chicago Tabernacle Ends Attempt To Buy Portage Theater

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 20, 2012 1:30PM

Photo Credit: Don Ritt

There was zoning board hearing scheduled for Friday morning to discuss Chicago Tabernacle’s attempts to purchase the Portage Theater. We say “was” because late Thursday it was announced that Chicago Tabernacle officially pulled its application to purchase and change the zoning on the 92-year-old theater. We’ve included Chicago Tabernacle's statement below.


The location referenced in the statement is believed to be the former Belpark Theater at 3121 N. Cicero Ave. in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood, a former movie house that is currently in use as a bingo hall. Ald. John Arena (45th) has long said he had no problem with having Chicago Tabernacle in his ward, but not in the Portage, which he and community activists have said is an anchor for the growing Six Corners business community, and the Chicago commission on landmarks heard arguments in April to grant the Portage landmark status.

Portage Theater management, already preparing for the launch of this year’s Silent Summer Film Festival, said they would have a public celebration of the announcement at 5 p.m.