PORTAGE PARK — The Northwest Chicago Film Society may be homeless, but the show must go on.
After working for years to restore "Corn's-A-Poppin'" from 1955, which was written by five-time Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Robert Altman, the painstakingly pieced together cult classic will be shown in all of its glory for the first time in Chicago on June 23 at the Music Box Theatre.
After becoming obsessed with the lost film in college, Rebecca Hall, Kyle Westphal and Julian Antos — who went on to found the Portage Park-based film society in 2011 — discovered a near-perfect copy of the film for sale on eBay and another copy at the University of Wisconsin.
Heather Cherone chats with DNAinfo Radio about the Northwest Chicago Film Society:
With a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation, the group pieced the film back together. The restored film had its premiere earlier this month at the University of California-Los Angeles as part of a retrospective of Altman's work.
The movie stars down-home crooner Jerry Wallace as Johnny Wilson, the star of the Pinwhistle Popcorn Hour, a variety show under siege from a rogue public relations man.
The society calls the movie "just about the most free-wheeling and singable hour of cinema we've ever seen."
With the closure of the Patio Theater a month ago, the film society found itself homeless for the third time in a year. It is looking for a permanent home.
The film society bounced from its home at the Portage Theater a year ago to the Patio Theater, 6008 W. Irving Park Road, only to have the 87-year-old theater suffer a series of mechanical breakdowns that forced the theater's owner to shutter its doors.
Three showings of "Corn's-A-Poppin'" at 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., will be accompanied by a "plethora of toe-tappin', wrist-flingin', red hot country-western musical shorts,", according to the society. Tickets are $7.