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Upgrades planned for McHenry Outdoor Theater

Fans of McHenry Outdoor Theater, the only remaining drive-in in the suburbs, can rejoice that its owner has long-term plans for the future with a bunch of upgrades and improvements. Scott Dehn, who has operated the theater for years, announced on Feb. 20 on Facebook that about two months ago he exercised his option to buy the property at 1510 Chapel Hill Road in McHenry. "The threat of redevelopment is now nonexistent," wrote Dehn, whose company Golden Age Holdings, LLC, is listed as the property owner by the McHenry County Treasurer's office. Dehn said he's planning to install a new screen for "the brightest and most crisp resolution" ever projected at the theater; add stone, gravel and rock to the parking lot and grade it to eliminate potholes; and add speakers to the exterior of all buildings. After complaints from patrons, smoking will not be allowed in the main parking lot and instead will be allowed only behind the concession stand, where the public does not park, Dehn said. The McHenry theater has been in existence since the 1940s and became the last of its kind in the suburbs in March 2019, after the Cascade Drive-In in West Chicago ended its 57-year run. The theater is open every Friday and Saturday May through October, rain or shine.


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