No More Movies At St. Charles' Arcada Theatre
ST. CHARLES, IL — With last Thursday’s showing of Disney/Pixar’s “The Incredibles,” movies came to an end at the historic Arcada Theatre in downtown St. Charles.
According to the Daily Herald, the 1926 theater’s current owner’s lease expires today and there is now an effort growing to turn the Arcada into a performing arts center. If that doesn’t work, owner Todd Price says that there may be no other choice than to seek other uses for the building, including office and retail space, a fate that recently befell another historic suburban movie house, the Hinsdale.
When Price took the Arcada over 3 ½ years ago from the Classic Cinemas chain, it was turned into a venue for live performances, including concerts, as well as second-run films, and brew'n'view style screenings. In addition, the Arcada was a place to see silent films accompanied by an organ, ocassional art and documentary features, sports events shown on the big screen, and even the sing-along “Wizard of Oz.”
There are still some live events scheduled over the next months at the Arcada but no more movies. Meanwhile, the Downtown St. Charles Partnership is spearheading an effort to form a non-profit organization to take over the Arcada and bring live entertainment to the theater.
While the city of St. Charles supports the Partnership, according to mayor Sue Klinkhamer, the city isn’t financially able to acquire the theater itself. Sharon Oie, a member of the Partnership, says that she believes the people of St. Charles want the Arcada to remain a theater. “This is a very important part of the puzzle for our downtown.”