The previous ownership group has sold the Portage Theater to Erineo “Eddie” Carranza, owner of the Congress Theater. In the short term, nothing will change. The current operators of the theater have a lease through 2015.
I am working with Mr. Carranza to facilitate meetings with community groups, and all of those who care about this landmark, to discuss his purchase of the building and his future plans. Additionally, I will continue with efforts to grant the building permanent landmark protection. In our meetings, Mr. Carranza has indicated no resistance to this effort.
It is also important to remember that, should a new operator run the theater, they would need a new liquor license and public place of amusement license. I will require a community meeting before agreeing to any new licenses in the theater or in the surrounding building.
Under this purchase, the Portage Theater retains its enormous potential as an economic engine for Six Corners. For the time being, it will continue to draw people to Six Corners with a diverse offering of movies, private events and live entertainment. My hope is for that to continue and expand.
At the same time, I am aware of the issues surrounding the Congress Theater. My staff has been following the hearings regarding the licenses at that building, and our understanding is that great progress has been made. My hope is that Mr. Carranza has learned many lessons from his ownership and management of the Congress, and we can avoid those issues here.
I advocated for the Portage Theater as a landmark and economic engine for Six Corners long before I was alderman, and I have continued that advocacy as your elected representative.