McHenry indoor theater ‘on track’ for October opening

Theater to seat 280 with reclined seating

McHENRY – The McHenry Downtown Indoor Theater will have a brand-new look when it opens this fall.

Don Tonyan, a member of Boone Creek Crossing LLC, which owns the building, said the construction phase of the theater is moving in the right direction, and currently the theater is on track to open in October with new screens, projectors and high-end seating.

“We’re just about done with demolition, and we’re turning the corner,” Tonyan said. “It’s going to look completely different than before.”

McHenry’s indoor theater has been closed since 2014, but plans for its development were unanimously approved in February by the McHenry City Council.

Tonyan said the 1208 N. Green St. theater is getting a new roof and a precast deck for rooftop dining, which is being installed Wednesday. After working on the exterior, Tonyan said work will be focused on improving the building’s interior.

“We’ve basically gutted the whole building down, and we’ve got interior walls and flooring to work on still,” Tonyan said.

The theater will consist of two screening rooms that each will seat 140 people. The new theater will have first-run movies, allow for 3D viewing in one room and have reclined seating, said McHenry Mayor Wayne Jett, who also is an investor in the theater.

“Half of each theater will be recliners, and half of each theater will have reclining rockers,” Jett said. “It’ll be very comfortable.”

The theater will be managed by Scott Dehn, owner of the McHenry Outdoor Theater.

Concessions will have classic movie theater options, such as popcorn, cotton candy and pizza. Jett said customers will be able to have self-served refills for pop and butter.

Along with the theater, Woodstock restaurant D.C. Cobb’s – which offers customers 20 different burgers and various craft beers – is planning to open its second location in the building this fall.

Restaurant owner Dan Hart said the McHenry location will have a separate entrance from the theater.

“I think the downtown district in McHenry is really starting to take off,” Hart said. “There’s other great restaurants there already, and we’re looking to add to that atmosphere. The theater in downtown Woodstock has done great for all the surrounding businesses, and this should be the same.”

Although the restaurant should open around the same time as the theater, D.C. Cobb’s outdoor patio isn’t expected to open until 2018.

“We have two patio spaces, as we’re building a rooftop patio as well as a ground-floor patio,” Hart said. “We’ll be able to offer some great seating options for people in the spring, summer and fall.”

Movie tickets can be purchased online or at the door. People will pick the seats they want to sit in when buying their tickets and they can order their food at the same time, Jett said.

Jett said tickets at this time are expected to be $9 for adults, $8 for children and seniors/military members and $7 for show times before 5:30 p.m.

“This is going to be an awesome venue, and it’s going to be done right,” Jett said. “We’re going to keep the prices reasonable, and we’re not going to be overpriced.”

The construction project’s cost is estimated to total about $1.5 million – about $1.2 million for the building and another few hundred thousand in build-out and equipment.

The theater has brought up concerns about parking in the downtown area, and city officials have been discussing potential solutions.

“This investment is going to kick start our downtown revitalization,” Jett said. “I think this theater really makes Green [Street] a destination to go to.”

Director of Economic Development Doug Martin agreed with Jett that the theater will provide a spark for other businesses in the area and will be anchor for downtown McHenry.

“It’s reinforced that it’s a vital part of our downtown for multiple reasons,” Martin said. “People are excited about it, and it should definitely bring more people downtown.”

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