Located at Six Corners in the Portage Park neighborhood of Chicago's Northwest Side, the Portage Theater is one of the oldest movie houses in Chicago. Designed by Mark D. Kalischer and Henry L. Newhouse, the Portage Theater opened on December 11, 1920 as the Portage Park Theatre. Built for the Ascher Brothers circuit with 1,938 seats, the Portage was the first theater built specifically for film in the area.
The Portage Theater's interior features a megaphone-shaped auditorium based on a formal Beaux-Arts opera house design. When the theater was taken over by Balaban and Katz in 1940, its marquee, entrance lobby and foyer were redecorated in a sleek, streamlined art deco style to complement other prominent art deco designs at Six Corners such as Sears department store and the Klee Brothers building.