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Theatrical Drama: More On The Portage

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The Portage Theater has a new owner: the Congress Theater's Eddie Carranza. For a minute, the owner's identity was cloaked by the land trust that made the purchase. When the Tribune reported on the sale late last week, speculation seemed to confirm that the Congress Theater's Eddie Carranza is the man behind the curtain (he's listed as manager of the LLC that now runs the buildings). The rumors have held, and there's evidence broadcast by The Chicagoist that Carranza will strip out seating and convert the Portage into a music venue, perhaps another site for underage drinking and destruction-by-decibel. But Carranza would still preserve some film screening capacity, according to his submitted bid and his team's statement on Everyblock. His $2.7M bid was $200K above the competition. Neighbors can now decide, in hindsight, what's preferable: the Chicago Tabernacle's defunct congregation plan or an impending rock venue. [Chicagoist]