There’s been a great response to our first post about saving The Portage Theater from closure. Thanks to everyone, especially to Alderman John Arena and Portage Park Neighborhood Association for supporting this treasure. Join Save the Portage Theater on Facebook if you haven’t already.
One point I wanted to raise is what The Portage can do for current and future filmmakers. A lot of the emphasis in saving the theater will center on what it’s provided in the past, and that’s fantastic and vital. But I don’t want to lose sight on what the theater can do for us struggling filmmakers who want to find methods of distribution outside of traditional means.
The following is a crosspost of a comment I made regarding this issue on the Chicago page of The Huffington Post:
“One major issue for me (as one of the co-founders of The Underground Multiplex, the site that first broke this story) is that more independent theaters are needed if local entertainment producers and distributors want to steer away from old corporate paradigms. File sharing is a reality, and no matter how much Hollywood wants to fight it, it’s here to stay. Independent theaters like The Portage are vital to have non-Hollywood films screened and create a connection to fans of new, self-produced movies first released via torrents.
So this is not only about keeping the extremely important connection with films of the past, it’s also about establishing a viable film center of new entertainment outside of Los Angeles and NYC. Without theaters like The Portage, this can’t possibly happen.”