Portage Park, named for the park within it's boundaries that was once a portage linking the Des Plaines and the Chicago Rivers, is now a mostly residential area whose landscape is covered with bungalows, two flats and churches. Portage Park is also home to two neighborhood movie theaters that date back to the 1920s. Only a handful of the over 1,000 neighborhood theaters that used to dot Chicago are still standing, and Portage Park's recently restored Portage Theater and Patio Theater are among the survivors.
Built in 1920 and restored in 2006, the Portage Theater is now a performing arts center that is home to the Silent Film Society of Chicago, The Northwest Chicago Film Society, and hosts the Chicago Silent Film Festival. The Patio, which was built in 1927, reopened this summer after a decade-long hiatus to show second-run movies on it's 45-by-35 foot screen.