Built in 1920, Chicago's historic Portage Theater is not only a bastion of entertainment, it also serves a myriad of non-profit art groups like the Silent Film Society of Chicago and the Northwest Chicago Film Society. Both groups bring unique entertainment that would otherwise not be available to the community.
But now the Portage may be going away. Chicago's Zoning Board will soon decide whether the Chicago Tabernacle will be allowed to remodel the building as a church. Such remodeling will not only rob Chicago of an entertainment venue, but will also markedly change the historic character of the building. Tabernacle plans for the building include evicting a number of residents and businesses that also use the Portage.
Renowned film critic Roger Ebert pretty much said it all when he twittered "Chicago has countless churches but not enough theaters like the very special Portage." Tell Chicago's Zoning Board to save the Portage as a theater!
We the undersigned ask that you save the Portage Theater for theater and entertainment. This beautiful and historically important theater, built in 1920, is a Chicago treasure. It is also home to one of the world's few active silent film societies. While we understand that the Chicago Tabernacle needs to expand, there are many other, more suitable buildings that could be used as a church. Please listen to the many, many Chicagoans who love this theater and want it to continue as a theater. Save the Portage!