McHenry's downtown theater sets Jan. 15 opening date

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi,' 'Paddington 2' expected to show at grand opening

McHENRY – McHenry’s downtown theater is expected to open Jan. 15, as construction winds down and finishing touches are completed.

McHenry Mayor Wayne Jett and construction and electrical workers were at the theater Saturday to install custom-made LED signs on the front of the building. The signs feature mural paintings of historic McHenry in a filmstrip design.

Brickwork and carpet, cabinet and equipment installation – as well as other finishing touches – will be completed in the next few weeks. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and “Paddington 2” are planned for opening night.

The third screening room likely will open two weeks after the grand opening, Jett said.

The theater, located downtown near the McHenry Riverwalk at 1208 N. Green St., will have three screening rooms – one with 113 seats, one with 133 seats and a third with 60 seats. Arcade games and concessions also will be available.

The theater has been in the works since February after McHenry City Council members approved plans for its development.

The theater has been closed since 2014 and has undergone a massive transformation since construction began.

Remodeling of the building has included roof replacement, interior wall and floor work and facade improvements.

The project’s cost is estimated at about $1.5 million – about $1.2 million for the building, and a few hundred thousand more in build-out and equipment.

The theater will operate under a community-owned model, with community members and business owners, including Jett, investing in the redevelopment.

Originally scheduled to open in November, the project took longer than expected after investors decided to construct a third screening room, Jett said.

“We couldn’t do anything until that concrete was done – and then the weather,” Jett said. “But it was just more construction. We would rather have the three screens than just two. Three makes a huge difference.”

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