Last night’s meeting to Save the Portage Theatre drew hundreds of people. That theater looked pretty darn full of supporters wanting to keep The Portage the vibrant center of entertainment that it is and not to sell it to a church.
I took some pictures where I was there. Scroll down to the bottom to learn how you can help regardless of whether you were able to attend last night.
BTW, when this meeting was well under way, the attendance numbered over 1000.
Additional info on how you can help:
1) Patronize The Portage Theater and the surrounding businesses in Portage Park, Six Corners and Old Irving Park Neighborhoods. When you visit any of their businesses, tell them you support The Portage Theater as it is. They need to hear that The Portage has backers.
2) Write to the Zoning Board of Appeals and tell them you oppose the special use permit requested by The Chicago Tabernacle. The Portage Park Neighborhood Association made it easy for you by creating a letter you can print, personalize and sign HERE. You can choose to mail to the Zoning Board address at the top of the letter, but to be on the safe side, I would highly suggest you mail a copy also to Alderman John Arena’s 45th Ward address at the bottom of the letter or present the letter there in person. The Alderman wants to be at the hearing with a stack of hundreds of letters opposing the theater buyout.
3) Mark your calendar for when the Zoning Board of Appeals meets to discuss the issue. It’ll be in April. At last night’s meeting we were told that the Board has a morning and afternoon session and visitors will not know in advance what time their matter will go under review. Thus, if you plan to go, be sure to schedule time off work and be prepared to be there all day.
4) Inform everyone. The Portage Theater is vital, not only to the economic strength of the surrounding neighborhoods, but to Chicago also. To have this city be a center of independent arts entertainment, we need to keep these indie venues alive.