Barrington's historic Catlow Theater has closed

  • Barrington's Catlow Theater has stopped showing feature films because of financial problems, the owner announced Saturday.

    Barrington's Catlow Theater has stopped showing feature films because of financial problems, the owner announced Saturday. Daily Herald File Photo

 
 
Updated 1/6/2020 8:39 AM

Barrington's historic Catlow Theater has stopped showing feature films because its owner doesn't have the cash to pay bills.

Owner Tim O'Connor sent an email Saturday informing patrons of the movie theater's closure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Unless we meet our crowd fundraiser goal, we may not be able to book any movies until we come up with enough money to pay more bills," the email read. A note on the Catlow's website read "Catlow closed until further notice."

The one-screen theater, at 116 W. Main St., will remain open for special events, O'Connor wrote. That includes planned showings of Oscar-nominated animated and live action short films scheduled for Feb. 8 and Feb. 9. Tickets for those showings are available through the village government at barrington-il.gov/oscars.

Village officials couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

O'Connor threatened to shutter the Catlow in October over unpaid taxes but reversed course.

Catlow Theater LP filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in U.S. District Court in Chicago in October. Most of the creditors listed in the federal filing were movie studios.

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The Catlow opened in 1927. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989. In an email sent last year, however, O'Connor said the facility was in disrepair. He also cited a lack of interest in movies there.

The Catlow has struggled financially for years.

In 2012, supporters raised $175,395 via an online campaign to pay for a modern digital projector.

But a 2017 fundraising campaign for the adjoining Showtime Eatery fell short of its goal.

Crowdfunding has paid for some repairs at the Catlow, O'Connor said in Saturday's email, including to the heating system and marquee.

The latest online fundraising drive seeks $30,000. As of Saturday afternoon, nearly $15,000 had been raised.

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