Early spring latest target for Schines Theater opening

Schines Theater to host live-shows and play first-run movies

Schine’s Theater is located at 216 Center Street and plans to open in early spring after sitting vacant since 2009.

The movies will return to Downtown Ashland by early spring, four years after the Schine’s Theater renovations began.

The theater has postponed its expected opening dates a couple of times due to supply chain issues, design changes, a vacant executive director position and the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, after many setbacks, Schine’s looks to be making progress toward a potential opening in March, according to Ashland Mayor Matt Miller.

“Right now, we believe construction should be completed in the month of March,” Miller said. “They are busy putting finishing touches on the interior. Last week the screen arrived, and the projectors are in place.”

Several changes and additions have been made to the theater, such as a new thrust, digital projectors, two sound systems, raised seating area on the lower level, and a handicapped bathroom.

Chris Skinner, Schine’s new executive director, said there would be 550 permanent seats and the room to add about 100 temporary seats in front of the stage.

The theater will be able to show three movies at once due to the two separate balcony rooms with retractable walls.

“It will be a theater like no other theater around here,” Miller said. “Not only will they be able to show movies, but they will also have the ability to show two separate movies to much smaller audiences in the balcony.”

Along with movies, people can expect to see live musical performances and theatrical shows.

“It’s not gonna be just a movie theater,” Skinner said. “Hopefully, we will be able to do live events that bring the community together.”

The main goal of Schine’s Theater is to provide another source of entertainment for the community.

“The theater will be vital because during these cold winter months when [people] cannot sit outside on a patio with live music or live band, now [people] will be able to have dinner downtown then go across the street to a show in the new theater,” Miller said.

This was an estimated $4 million project, and Robert and Janet Archer donated $2 million to help renovate.

Schine’s Theater is a nonprofit and will be relying on help from volunteers.

If you are interested in volunteering and want more information go to LET’S MAKE ASHLAND “SCHINE” (ashlandschines.org).