On March 5, The Vixen opened in downtown McHenry, replacing the previous McHenry Downtown Theater.
The Vixen will be a live events theater with various comedic acts, magicians from “America’s Got Talent,” and other shows for children. At the entrance, there will be a bar area for adults along with music.
The theater closing down has received plenty of positive and negative reactions from the community. Ultimately, the lack of people watching movies at the theater showed a lack of demand.
“I know we heard a lot of feedback from parents who were concerned about the impact on their kids and one less thing for them to do … and [that is] totally understandable,” says Mike Sullivan, an investor at The Vixen managing advertising and talent booking. “We definitely thought about that a lot and considered it before changing lanes.”
Molly Ostap, the president of the McHenry Chamber of Commerce, believes the closing of the theater will benefit the community in many ways.
“While we all love movies, it wasn’t a good model anymore,” she says. “People have 70-inch TVs in their homes and movies are streaming immediately. I actually think The Vixen will provide more opportunities for our community than the downtown theater ever could. Restaurants and theaters go hand in hand. So our restaurants are going to definitely benefit from this.”
While The Vixen will give citizens new opportunities, some are sad to see the McHenry Downtown Theater go.
“It’s sad for me because I saw my first movie there … and the whole experience of it was just so awesome,” says freshman Jamison Shea. “Every time a new Marvel movie came out, me and my dad would go see it and it was always awesome, but now that it is changing it is just sad.”
Individuals can now visit The Vixen located in downtown McHenry for a large variety of entertainment shows.
“Comedy, live music, DJ nights, magic shows for kids,” says Sullivan, “these events were selling out and the community showed that this is more of what they want. You’ll remember these forever, you’ll remember the live events forever.”