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Film Society Moves to NEIU, Will Screen Films in 35MM 'As Nature Intended'

 “Midnight,” directed by Mitchell Leisen in 1939, will be part of the Northwest Chicago Film Society's summer season.
“Midnight,” directed by Mitchell Leisen in 1939, will be part of the Northwest Chicago Film Society's summer season.
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Northwest Chicago Film Society

PORTAGE PARK — Go ahead, call it a comeback.

After being homeless for more than a year, the Northwest Chicago Film Society will kick off its summer film series July 1 in a theater on the North Park campus of Northeastern Illinois University.

The society founded to show a "potpourri of classics, oddball discoveries and unaccountable artifacts" now has a permanent home at 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. in a 400-seat auditorium that has a new projection screen designed to showcase the film society's beloved 35-millimeter films.

"The film society has a strong tradition of curating some of the best film events in the Chicago area, and this new relationship will be a direct benefit for our students and the broader Chicago community," said Shayne Pepper, an assistant professor of communication, media and theater at Northeastern.

Founded in a 300-seat theater on the second floor of a bank building that closed in 2011, the film society moved to the Portage Theater, 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave., only to find its screenings canceled by the Six Corners theater's abrupt closure in May 2013 as part of a dispute over its liquor license.

But much like the hero of one of its favorite flicks from Hollywood's Golden Era, the film society refused to give up, moving to the Patio Theater — even though the aging former movie palace didn't have a working heating and air conditioning system.

The Patio Theater — which is set to be sold to Portage Theater owner Eddie Carranza — closed in April 2014, hurling the film society into limbo. The Patio, 6008 W. Irving Park Road, reopened in November, under the same management as the Portage Theater, but the film society did not return.

"We hope that these historic theaters can survive and thrive," the film society said in a statement.

The screenings will be integrated into Northeastern's film studies courses, which serve more than 200 students each semester, Pepper said.

Tickets will cost $2 for Northeastern students and $5 for the general public. Parking for $5 will be available on campus, with street parking available for free, organizers said.

All screenings start at 7 p.m. and are preceded by a short subject, trailers and an introduction, organizers said. All movies will be shown in 35 mm "as nature intended," organizers said.

The lineup for the Northwest Chicago Film Society's 11th season is:

•July 1: "Follow Thru," 1930, directed by Laurence Schwab and Lloyd Corrigan

•July 8: "Smile," 1975, directed by Michael Ritchie

•July 15: "Gulliver's Travels," 1939, directed by Dave Fleischer

•July 22: "Summer with Monika," 1953, directed by Ingmar Bergman

•July 29: "Midnight," 1939, directed by Mitchell Leisen

• Aug. 5: "It's Trad, Dad!" 1962, directed by Richard Lester

• Aug. 12: "Housekeeping," 1987 directed by Bill Forsyth

•Aug. 26: "Bend of the River," 1952, directed by Anthony Mann.

For more information, go to northwestchicagofilmsociety.org.

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