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Northwest Chicago Film Society Makes Patio Theater New Home

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 2, 2013 10:20PM

Photo Credit: celticshelter

The Northwest Chicago Film Society has moved most of its screenings to the Patio Theater since the May closing of the Portage Theater forced the group to become nomadic. Tuesday afternoon the society announced the Patio would become its new permanent home starting July 8.

NWCFS executive director Rebecca Hall said in a statement the group explored its options in the weeks after the Portage was shuttered for finishing out the current season and the overwhelming response to the screenings at the Patio was overwhelming. So they worked to secure permission from their network of studios, archives, and private collectors to move all of their scheduled programs and are in the process of buying a 16mm projector for the Patio's projection booth to maintain their wide range of programming.

Hall also poured cold water on any lingering hopes the NWCFS would return to the Portage. Although the group has a contract to program films there through the end of the year, they haven't heard from current ownership with a offer. (Which is par for the course when dealing with Eddie Carranza.) More disconcerting news from Hall regarding the Portage: all the equipment needed to host a film screening at the landmark theater—including projectors, speakers and the theater's Wurlitzer pipe organ—was removed by the owners of that equipment, making screening a film there virtually impossible.

The NWCFS' move to the Patio doesn't change Patio owner Demetri Kouvalis's immediate plans to shut down the theater for the summer because of an inoperable air conditioning system. Kouvalis told Chicagoist he's still sticking to his plan, aside from the NWCFS screenings, and still plans to re-open in September with other screenings and special events in addition to the NWCFS' programming.

We've posted the remainder of the NWCFS summer schedule below.

Northwest Chicago Film Society Summer Schedule