LaBellarte lands on Michigan Avenue

Outsider Inc., which let its staff go and moved out of its big Streeterville loft space, moved last week into what executive producer Michael Rafayko said was going to be “new and smaller space off Michigan Avenue.”

That space, however, is an executive suite on Michigan Avenue — 980 N. Michigan — where director/editor Michael LaBellarte and staff of three have set up shop.

The company is no longer Outsider, however. The company at that address, according to its website, is Altar Films, LLC. The website describes it “a full service, international production resource headquartered in Los Angeles, with offices in New York and Chicago.”

Outsider had occupied 11,000-sq. ft. of unique penthouse space at 230 W. Ohio St. for three of the five years on its lease. The space had been designed by LaBellarte and then partner, Paul Hayward, with many cutting-edge exciting editing features.

One of those features was a 700-sq. ft. Media Room used to transferring large movie files back and forth via a satellite link to strategic partners, for color correction and special effects.

Over Memorial Day, it was reported, LaBellarte moved equipment, furnishings and artwork out of the Ohio Street penthouse.

LaBellarte, a gifted editor who added director to his skill set, opened Outsider in 2001 at 610 N. Fairbanks -? space now occupied by The Colonie — after a stint at now-defunct NuWorld editing.

Outsider at its peak billed in excess of $6 million, the Reel was told, and employed a staff of 20.

Neither LaBellarte nor Rayfako, a freelance producer, who is also serving as a consultant, returned the Reel’s phone call for comment.

Altar Films’ phone number is 312/988-4841. See

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