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Barrington, IL: Catlow Arts Center Under New Ownership, Reopening May Take Years

Posted on Monday, November 14, 2022 2:58 PM


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Theater photo Copyright © 2022, SVJ Designs, LLC. All rights reserved.

The Catlow Arts Center in Barrington, Illinois hasn't shown movies since it closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic.

Located just of west of the intersection of Main Street and Hough Street in the northwest Chicago suburb, the single-screen theater is a short six minute walk from the Barrington Metra station and easily accessible by car from the surrounding communities. Wright Catlow opened the Catlow Theatre on May 28, 1927, showing movies and hosting vaudeville performances. In 1989, it was added to the National Register Of Historic Places.

However, the theater has not prospered for quite some time. Its more recent history includes multiple fundraising campaigns to keep the theater running and/or to purchase necessary equipment in order to continue showing movies. The community stepped up each time, but owner Tim O'Connor announced earlier this year that he was putting the theater up for sale.

According to a recent news article published in the Daily Herald (see list below), the theater has been sold to long-time Barrington resident and business owner Brian Long. In another recent article, Long says that he intends to restore and rehabilitate the theater and its features, a process that could take a couple of years. In addition to the possibility of showing movies again, he is planning to make it a venue for live performances, weddings, and other events. Time will tell if those intentions can be turned into reality or if the reality of owning a historic movie theater will be overwhelming.

Theater photo Copyright © 2022, SVJ Designs, LLC. All rights reserved.

We last visited the Catlow Arts Center this past July, and you can view the photos that we took (as well as others that have been taken in the past) on the Photo Gallery page for the Catlow Arts Center.

Until it starts showing movies again (if it ever does), moviegoers in the area will need to visit one of the other nearby theaters, including the Regal Lake Zurich in Lake Zurich and the Century 16 Deer Park in Deer Park.

Theater photos Copyright © 2022, SVJ Designs, LLC. All rights reserved.

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