Vintage woodcut depiction of Portage Park Theatre, Chicago. via Biff Buttler

New Owner Serves Eviction Notice on Portage, Chicago Managers

Vintage woodcut depiction of Portage Park Theatre, Chicago. via Biff Buttler

Two neighborhoods, two theatres, two fights, one owner: The Portage and Congress Theatres in Chicago owned by Erineo “Eddie” Carranza.

All the details at the Chicagoist via this link from Biff Buttler in New York. Thanks, again, Biff !

One Comment

  1. Chris Carlo

    Mr Carranza has more power and good attorneys who already have a track record with the city because of his ownership of the Congress. If the operators of the Portage can’t pay their rent, they can’t afford a good attorney. Say goodbye to the Portage. The landlord is not going to put up with scofflaw tenants. The law will be on his side. All the neighborhood do-gooders have obviously not purchased enough tickets to allow the operators to pay their rent. Lip service by the save-our-neighborhood groups don’t put cash in the till to pay the rent. People, if you want to save a theatre you have to patronize the theatre often enough that they get a positive cash flow. At a venue as large as the Portage, that’s a lot of tickets sold. Professional theater operators like M&R, tried to run the Portage and left with without looking back. The neighborhood council has forgotten to put their money where there mouths are.
    Past repairs to the theatre are not reimbursable if the tenant has a triple-net lease. They certainly are not assumed by the new owners. That’s what lien laws are for. If the title was clear and the sale cleared escrow, the tenant can complain all he wants but hasn’t a leg to stand on. If the operators have nothing in writing it doesn’t exist. If they have a written agreement with the past owner then they have to take it up with the past owner. As far as our Chicago Aldermen go: they may make a big fuss (like the recent Chick-fil-A fiasco which the Northside Alderman lost) but they’re only looking for votes. They know the law is on Mr Carranza’ side.
    Moral of the story: If you want to save a theatre, pour some money into the box office and concession stand. A “hard core” group of 45 patrons doesn’t pay the rent.

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