After owning the former movie palace for a tumultuous four years, Carranza sold the theater as well as the 34 apartments and eight storefronts in the theater's ornate building for $2.5 million on March 18 to BCL Multi Family LLC, which is part of the Northbrook-based private equity firm Barnett Capital Ltd., records show.
Charlie Burns will continue to operate the theater at 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave. under a lease agreement with the theater's new owner, said Justin Weber, the broker handling the sale.
Reporter Heather Cherone talks about reader reaction to new Portage Theatre owners.
Most NSQ users celebrated the sale, and expressed optimism that sale will mean a new start for the theater.
User "Darlene18" called news of the sale the "Best news ever. I hope that they open that Portage with new movies and bring people into our neighborhood."
User "pparic1" agreed, saying the end of Carranza's ownership of the Portage Theater "will only be a boon to the local community."
"Andy_S" said he wanted to see the theater transformed into a brew and view. "It would be nice to see a revitalization of the area."
User "anthony-hall" echoed the call for the theater to show movies while serving booze. "Now let's hope the buyers can figure out a way to make it flourish!"
However, user "northsidestu" focused on the storefronts and the apartments that were sold along with the theater, noting that the heyday of single-screen movie theaters have long passed. Anybody with a bit of business sense should be able to make [this] building work," he wrote.
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