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Locked out of the Portage Theater, Northwest Chicago Film Society Relocates

  The Northwest Chicago Film Society is "collateral damage" in a dispute over the theater's liquor license.
Locked out of the Portage Theater, Northwest Chicago Film Society Relocates
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PORTAGE PARK — With the Portage Theater padlocked because of a dispute over its liquor license, the Northwest Chicago Film Society will move this week's classic film screenings to the Patio Theater and the Music Box Theatre.

"We're collateral damage," said Rebecca Hall, the executive director of the Northwest Chicago Film Society.

Douglas Sirk’s “All I Desire” starring Barbara Stanwyck will be shown at 8 p.m. Monday at the Patio Theater6008 W. Irving Park Road. Admission is $5.

The society, which is in its seventh season, will show the 1967 documentary "Portrait of Jason" at 7 p.m. Wednesday the Music Box Theatre3733 N. Southport Ave. Admission is $5.

Hall said she was optimistic that no screenings will be canceled because of the closure of the Portage Theater, although new venues have not yet been announced, Hall said.

"It has been a dizzying 24 hours," Hall said. "The help from the Patio and the Music Box means lot to  the whole film community."

The Patio Theater is unlikely to offer the society a permanent home, since it is scheduled to close for the summer in the next couple of weeks because of a broken air conditioning system.

Portage Theater owner Eddie Carranza said Friday the Six Corners landmark would go dark immediately because Ald. John Arena (45th) opposed his plan to take over the former movie palace's liquor license.

Arena said Carranza's checkered track record at the Congress Theater in Logan Square made him unfit to hold the liquor license at the Portage Theater, 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave.

A new operator will be hired to run the theater, a process that could take months, Carranza said Friday.

Also Friday, city officials yanked Carranza's liquor license to run the Congress Theater, finding that the threater "created a nuisance" due to five separate illegal incidents involving narcotics or controlled substances from September 2011 to April 2012. Carranza said he would appeal the decision.

That revocation means Carranza would have been prohibited by city officials from taking over the liquor license at the Portage Theater regardless of Arena's opposition unless his appeal is upheld, said Owen Brugh, Arena's chief of staff.