Construction continues on Woodstock Theatre

WOODSTOCK – Construction on the Woodstock Theatre continued Friday as the walls and the basic roof structure have been completed, marking two major milestones in the development process.  

“We're pretty much on schedule,” Classic Cinema's President Willis Johnson said.

Johnson said the recent cold weather had slowed construction, but the theater still plans to open its doors in the spring.

“The weather has been in our favor until a week ago,” he said. “When it gets down to below zero, you just can't work.”

The theater at 209 Main St. plans to open six of its eight new screens in April, with the additional two screens set to open in late September or early October, Johnson said.

The $4.8 million project will double the number of screens – all of which will be digital and three of which will be equipped with 3D technology – increase the size of the lobby and bathrooms, and will add two party rooms capable of seating 30 people each.

Each theater will have stadium seating, an upgrade from its original slanted floors.

The project, which the city has helped so far by allocating $100,000 in tax increment financing funds toward Main Street improvements, will add needed improvements to the aging theater. But Johnson said it won't lose its historic feel.

The theater first opened in 1927, with balcony seating and a dome in auditorium No. 1.

“We are going to restore the dome and put in stadium seating that goes up to where the balcony used to be,” Johnson said.

Johnson said pictures of the old theater will hang in the lobby to remind patrons of the “spirit of old time.” A vertical Woodstock Theatre sign also will hang from the side of the building, similar to the one that was there in the 1930s and 40s.

• Northwest Herald reporter Shawn Shinneman contributed to this story.

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