Society President Rebecca Hall called a recent change in ownership of the former 1920s movie palace in the heart of the Six Corners Shopping District “unsettling” but said it had not yet forced the non-profit group dedicated to the preservation of film to alter their plans.
“We’re moving forward,” Hall said. “Our main concern is being there for our audience.”
In September, Eddie Carranza, the owner of the Congress Theater in Logan Square, bought the Portage Theater and moved to evict theater operators Dennis Wolkowicz and Dave Dziedzic, who brought the film society to the Portage.
“The Portage is perfect for us,” Hall said, adding that the group was not looking for a new home. “We have deep roots in Portage Park.”
For the first time, the film society will offer some screenings on Mondays, in addition to its successful Wednesday showings, which typically attract between 100 and 300 people to the theater, Hall said.
The new season will begin with a showing of “Some Like It Hot” starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon on Jan. 2. Named the No. 1 comedy of all time by the American Film Institute, the film played at the Portage during its initial theatrical run.
In addition, the group will show all 12 episodes of “The Adventures of Captain Marvel” from 1941. The vintage 35mm print from a local film collector, Hall said. The first episode will be shown Jan. 9.
On Feb. 13, the group will show the 1931 vampire classic “Dracula!” in Spanish, which was filmed at the same time as the English-language version. The only print of the movie in the United States has no subtitles – so the group will offer a slideshow of live subtitles, Hall said.
“One of the things we specialize in making available [are] these things people just have in their collections,” Hall said. “It is important that people get to see them. We want to draw out curious and obscure films.”
Tickets are $5, and beer, wine and concessions are available for purchase.
“We think it will be a lot of fun,” Hall said.