Hey, blogspot readers, let's get spaced out with SouthSide! She spent a fun Saturday afternoon at the movies with her daughter munching on buttered popcorn and viewing classic cinema on the big screen. Yet this wasn't any ordinary movie showing either ...it was classic sci-fi movies by Universal Studios at the historic Portage Theatre. The Portage Theatre Monster Club, started 2 1/2 years ago by John Jankowski, held its once-a-month "meeting" featuring another quadruple selection of classic movies. This month's theme was Sci-Fi which included Jetsons the Movie, The Reluctant Astronaut (starring Don Knots, a very hot-looking Leslie Nielsen), The Last Starfighter (starring the original Music Man Robert Preston in his final cinematic role) and It Came Without Warning.
Besides enjoying the classic sci-fi on the big screen, SouthSide also browsed at the vast collection of horror/sci-fi memorabilia for purchase. Plenty of items worthy of any addition to a collector and/or film buff to snag such as vintage comics and movie posters to VHS/DVDs (even the hard to find or out-of-date titles) to figurines and t-shirts. Everything for sale at reasonable prices too (slightly more for one-of-a-king collectibles). SouthSide spotted a LONG list of movie titles (some classic, others campy) to add to her home movie collection. She snagged two VHS movies (Creepshow and Ed Wood) and Spaceballs (by Mel Brooks) on DVD. Next month, more titles will be added such as Phantasm or ET (not that special edition version either). Svengoolie fans should check out the three volume DVD collection of funny outtakes and favorites by current Sven, Rich Koz, as well as the DVD featuring the original Sven, Jerry G. Bishop.
Before grabbing a seat inside, say "hi" to Tony who works at the concession stand. They have the freshest popcorn and other snacks (hot dogs, nachos, etc) to munch while watching the quadruple movie feature. For adults, they do serve alcoholic beverages (something you usually don't get at most multi-plex theatres). And save your ticket stubs! Before the 3rd movie showing, the Monster Club holds a raffle, blogspot readers. Plus there's judging too on the best movie-themed toy. On Saturday, patrons were asked to bring their best space toy. Next month, it's bring your coolest Frankenstein item.
And speaking of next month, the Portage Theatre Monster Club's quadruple movies will be: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Man of A Thousand Faces (starring James Cagney), The Invisible Man (starring Claude Rains - SouthSide's personal favorite by this actor) and a special treat for all Ed Wood fans and movie buffs - Plan 9 From Outer Space! SouthSide's excited about this lineup yet you don't have to take her word. Simply ask Tracey Knox who was also there Saturday enjoying the classic sci-fi movies with her family. This was her third time attending the Monster Club showings and what she likes most about this is "...they have a good selection of movies that you can bring you kids ...you can come and go as you please (they stamp your hand for re-entry)..." Plus she feels its an economical for the entire family - it's $9 or $10 for one movie compared to $5(for kids) and $10(for adults) for four great movies.
Enough said. This is a great adventure for film buffs of all ages ...film students as well as fans of horror/sci-fi. Yet if this isn't your favorite genre, SouthSide highly recommends checking out The Portage's Silent Film Fest. Friday, it's Ben Hur (1925) and on August 6, it's Douglas Fairbanks in The Mark of Zorro (1920). The August 6th showing is extra special because it will feature the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra performing the movie music. Still, this reviewer says check out the "meetings" for the Portage Theatre Monster Club - you just might see a movie you haven't seen on the big screen in a long time.
The Portage Monster Club doesn't have a website yet however for more information/details, visit www.portagetheater.org. You can also contact John Jankowski directly at email@example.com. This historic theatre is located at 4050 N. Milwaukee AV (near Irving Park/Cicero/Milwaukee) by public transportation (there's parking too). Oh, did you know that the interior of this theatre was used (as The Biograph) in the movie Public Enemies (starring Johnny Depp)? Who knows - perhaps SouthSide sat where Johnny did during the film showings.
Until next time, support your local scene,