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Congress Theater Woes Force Cancellation of Montgomery Gentry Concert

 The Congress Theater, 2135 N. Milwaukee Ave., was forced to cancel Friday's concert, but smaller shows in June will go on.
The Congress Theater, 2135 N. Milwaukee Ave., was forced to cancel Friday's concert, but smaller shows in June will go on.
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DNAInfo/Victoria Johnson

CHICAGO — Building code issues have forced the cancellation of Friday's Montgomery Gentry concert at the embattled Congress Theater, but the venue's owner hopes it will be open at full capacity in time for a July 5 Marilyn Manson show.

Congress owner Eddie Carranza and his attorneys appeared for a court hearing Thursday morning to discuss progress in bringing the theater into city building code compliance.

The theater's second floor has been closed for several months as Carranza worked to make electrical repairs, including installing a generator required by law in case of a power outage.

With the second floor closed, the theater's capacity has been capped at 3,000 instead of the full 4,500. Friday's show featuring the country music duo sold more than 3,000 tickets, so it had to be canceled. Smaller shows scheduled through June will go on.

Attorney Demetris Kare told Judge James McGing that they had been waiting on work from ComEd, which completed a scheduled generator test Wednesday.

Kare asked the judge to schedule a June 20 hearing following another inspection, so the the theater can be at full capacity for the Marilyn Manson show scheduled for July 5.

"We feel that the electrical work will be completed then," Kare told McGing.

Thursday's news follows Friday's yanking of the Congress Theater's public amusement and liquor licenses after the city accused Congress management of failing to properly report crimes committed at the venue.

Carranza's attorney, Harlan Powell, immediately filed an appeal, and the venue is allowed to host shows and sell liquor during the appeals process.

Powell said he is confident the decision will be reversed.

The Congress issues have caused Carranza additional headaches at the Portage Theater on the Northwest Side, which he shut down due to problems transferring the liquor license there.

Carranza declined to comment at length Thursday morning, saying only, "we're working with the city."

Despite all of Carranza's battles with the city, Friday's show was the first to be canceled because of them.