Some the the key obstacles come reopening Cascade Drive-In theatre in West Chicago involve utility issues, files show.Daily Herald file Photo


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Moviegoers are still waiting for the display to start at the lovely Cascade Drive-in, a shuttered theatre in West Chicago do the efforts to stage a comeback.

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Almost 4 months after announcing plans because that a 2nd act, the home owner is now looking come reopen the drive-in this spring with its longtime proprietor. West Chicago\"s city council additionally has authorized a zoning code request needed to bring earlier the out cinema the yesteryear.


\"However, there room still a number of obstacles and also costs, particularly with respect to facilities improvements, that impede the owner\"s capability to relocate forward with opening the Cascade Theater,\" an attorney for the floor owner wrote in a letter to the city last week.

The owner the the 28-acre home is seek city board of directors approval to continue using private, on-site wells as a water source instead that connecting come the city\"s water system. Link to the city-owned water main would require thousands the feet of new pipe. And also a restored theater will need very limited water service, attorney Patti Bernhard wrote.

\"This form of price simply cannot be borne by any kind of sort of redevelopment linked with a drive-in theatre on the property,\" Bernhard said in the letter requesting the exemption.

The property is being hosted in a trust, and the owner hasn\"t to be identified.

But follow to Bernard\"s letter, the owner is ready to \"invest hundreds of thousands of dollars\" to attach to the West Chicago\"s sanitary sewage system mains and replace a cesspool mechanism that \"may existing a hazard to the general public health.\"


Utility renovations would include building and construction of a lift station to pump waste into West Chicago\"s sanitary drain infrastructure. At the city\"s request, the owner would privately preserve the elevator station.

As of last week, the city has actually not checked out plans because that the sewer work, which doesn\"t call for council approval yet does need a permit and also staff review, Community breakthrough Director Tom Dabareiner said. In a couple weeks, Dabareiner expects to have a date scheduled to bring the well water proposal to the city council.

Russ Whitaker, an additional attorney who has represented the owner, did no respond come phone and also email messages about a feasible timeline because that reopening.

The letter shown the hope was spring.

\"The historic and also the proposed use of the residential or commercial property as a drive-in theatre is distinctive not only to West Chicago but additionally the region,\" Bernhard wrote. \"A drive-in theater gives a good service and amenity come residents however is financially constrained by just being open and in usage for a part of the year.\"

The theater went dark in 2019, leave at the time only one various other drive-in in the Chicago area. Yet a freshly reopened Cascade could capitalize on the need for socially distanced outdoor screenings seen throughout the pandemic.

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For 30 years, Jeff Kohlberg activate the Cascade till the property\"s ahead owner declined to renew the lease in so late 2018. Kohlberg has said he wishes to reopen the theatre this year to celebrate the 60th anniversary that its 1961 opening.