It was on September 6, 1926 that the 900-seat Arcada Theatre first opened its doors to a Vaudeville audience and a short “Our Gang Comedy” film.
Eighty years later, Ron Onesti came to St. Charles to take over the reins of the theatre, which was days away from becoming an office complex, and turned it into one of the most popular live music venues in the country.
Now, in response to the theatre’s popularity coupled with Onesti’s desire to create a one-of-a-kind entertainment and dining experience for his guests, the ninety-four year-old gem is getting a facelift.
Coinciding with the COVID-19 lockdown that shuttered The Arcada, Onesti, with new partners Curt and Conrad Hurst, are embarking on a complete re-design of every square inch of the building.
“For fifteen years we have been creating life-lasting memories for thousands of music lovers of all ages,” Onesti said. “But the building was tired, hot in the Summer, cold in the Winter. And definitely, restroom-challenged!”
Highlights of this monumental renovation include:
Yes, ninety-four years later, The Arcada Theatre is enjoying a revitalization few venues get to boast. But as Onesti puts it, “I have been dreaming about these changes for a long time. Now, they are becoming a reality. I am thrilled that we can show our loyal customers and our beloved bands just how much we appreciate them with better facilities and equipment to make their experience here even more memorable. And of course, I’ll still have my meatballs to give them. They are what REALLY keeps them coming back!”
Although it is uncertain when the music industry will return to “normal”, we will be opening our doors in some capacity soon. We will support local artists who have suffered this year, and give them a space to play.
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