New life could be breathed back into the now shuttered Arlington Theaters. A new movie theatre company is currently in talks to move in and take over the vacant, six-screen cinema in the Village’s Downtown, officials said Tuesday.
“Basically there are negotiations between the landlord and a prospective tenant,” Village Manager Bill Dixon said, “And they are making progress.”
The theatre company, which has not been publically named, has yet to present plans to the Village of Arlington Heights. They have expressed interest in making changes to the building and obtaining a liquor license to allow the sale of alcohol at the theatre.
Although the village is not part of the negations, Dixon said Arlington Heights officials are ready to work with the two parties to finalize the deal and fill the vacancy at 53 S. Evergreen Avenue, in Arlington Heights.
After 13 years in business, the village’s only cinema, and one of a few nearby options for Palatine residents, Arlington Theaters closed in July after negotiations for a new lease fell through. The high cost of required technology was in part to blame for the botched deal.
As film continues to get phased out of the cinemas, upgrade costs are estimated at roughly $600,000 just to bring the six-screen theatre into the new age of digital cinema projection, an expense few have been willing to take on.
Now with the interest of a cinema company, the landlord is negotiating the terms of the deal, which include reconfigurations to the building to accommodate new technology, like digital projectors.
“We are encouraged as a village and eager to assist in anyway possible,” Dixon said, “But it’s really up to them and we have nothing to announce, not at this time.”
Village President Arlene Mulder told the Daily Herald a new cinema could be up and running by Spring 2013, the Village Manager said he is reluctant to speculate on when the theatre would reopen.
If the theatre company and the landlord do make a deal, the village would then join the discussion to talk about the possibility of building reconfigurations and the approval of a liquor license.