During the winter of 1993/94 Willis and Shirley Johnson met with developer Dwight Yackley to look at the Lakeland Shopping Center as a possible site for a movie theatre. After a review of the buildings, it was decided that the space that had formerly been occupied by a grocery store, would be more suited to a movie theatre due to its higher ceilings. It was decided to develop the space into five auditoriums with restrooms, an office and storage areas.
Mayor Hamsher and Village Clerk Sue McNally spent a morning with the Johnsons, taking them on a tour of Fox Lake and the adjoining towns. They were very enthusiastic about the community and felt a movie theatre would be an asset to the area. The village officials, who were involved in the project were very cooperative and guided them through the permits, inspections, etc.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held on February 25, 1995, with Mr. Hamsher, Clerk McNally and many village officials in attendance. The target date for opening the theatre was May 1995. Due to a variety of construction delays, the theatre opened in stages.
On July 14, 1995 there were two screens showing Pocahontas and Batman, and during the following three weeks one additional screen was opened each Friday. On August 4 all five screens were operational and on Wednesday August 31, 1995 the Grand Opening was celebrated.
In November 2002, the Fox Lake added a 42-inch video monitor to the lobby to play previews of upcoming films just in time for the upcoming holiday movies. And in 2003, digital sound was added to all five auditoriums.
This emphasis on movie going value and customer comfort continued in 2004 when Classic Cinemas added four new auditoriums to the theatre. The new screens bring the total number up to nine. All auditoriums have large screens, HPS 4000 Digital Surround Sound and comfortable seats. The theatre also added a party room, allowing patrons to celebrate birthdays and other occasions at the theatre.
On June 15th, 2005, the full renovations of the Fox Lake theatre were completed with improvements to the lobby and concession area. This was celebrated with the tearing of the "Big Ticket" by Fox Lake Mayor Cindy Irwin and the Johnson Family.
In March of 2009 Digital 3D Projection for 3 screens was installed!
On March 12, 2012 all auditoriums were updated with Enhanced 4K Digital Projection and Datasat Sound Processor.
Take a "Virtual Tour” of the Fox Lake Theatre (link will open a new browser window).