No More Movies At St. Charles' Arcada Theatre

posted by btkrefft on January 31, 2005 at 1:10 pm

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.”

Theaters in this post

Comments (32)

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on January 31, 2005 at 1:40 pm

According to the website the last presentation was a live one just last night. The theater is beautiful judging from the pictures and even the website was pretty cool. I am so sick of hearing about these classic venues being “gutted for retail space”.

Patsy
Patsy on January 31, 2005 at 5:11 pm

Manwithnoname: DITTO your remarks as I, too, am so sick of hearing about these classic venues being “GUTTED FOR RETAIL SPACE”! Example: Garden Theatre in Charleston SC!

Patsy
Patsy on January 31, 2005 at 5:46 pm

After reading the Daily Herald article I have come to a better understanding, but still composed and sent my email to a man named Todd whose name came up under “Contact Us”. I do hope that others will send their cinema support letters, too!

stevepatrick
stevepatrick on January 31, 2005 at 7:46 pm

Patsy,
I have tried emailing Todd as well, about a week ago, and I have not heard back as of yet. I may be moving to St. Charles in the next few months and would love to be part of the effort to save this theater. I would even consider taking over the lease if the $$ is reasonable. If anyone can help me out as far as getting more info, in particular helping me locate the people that make the decisions over there, I would appreciate it.
Thanks!
Steve

Patsy
Patsy on January 31, 2005 at 8:15 pm

Stevepatrick: I found your post most interesting and most encouraging so I wish you the best of luck in contacting some of the ‘movers and shakers’ of that Illinois town who MUST save their theatre. Perhaps if you send an email to Ross, Cinema Treasures author he might be able to help guide you in the right direction. I would even think about calling the theatre and speak with someone who could put you in immediate touch with Todd. Keep us posted!

Patsy
Patsy on January 31, 2005 at 8:17 pm

Stevepatrick: Member, Bryan Krefft posted the initial theatre article, but he doesn’t have any contact information listed on his profile page so hopefully he’ll read these recent posts and get in touch with you as he lives in Wheaton Illinois according to his profile!

Patsy
Patsy on January 31, 2005 at 8:22 pm

Ross can be reached at

Patsy
Patsy on January 31, 2005 at 8:25 pm

The Town of St. Charles is a very quaint midwestern town as told to me by my husband who is there each June for a car function held at the Pheasant Run Resort! They have a wonderful website you can visit which will give much information for newcomers! The site is www.visitstcharles.com

stevepatrick
stevepatrick on January 31, 2005 at 8:25 pm

Thanks for the helpful info Patsy. And anyone else with any help, please advise ASAP!
Steve

Patsy
Patsy on January 31, 2005 at 8:27 pm

Yes, ASAP! God Bless you and all of us wish you the very best in your theatre effort! And again, keep us posted. My email address is provided on my profile page!

Patsy
Patsy on January 31, 2005 at 8:27 pm

You must be in Ohio as many of your theatres on the profile page are Ohio related!

Patsy
Patsy on January 31, 2005 at 8:31 pm

Also, I posted about name your interest in the Arcada so am trying to get the word out via this cinema site, for now.

Patsy
Patsy on January 31, 2005 at 8:33 pm

Sorry….I’m typing too fast should read….“I posted your name and interest in the Arcada on the Arcada page”…….Just so happy that you replied so soon with interest in saving this St. Charles theatre!

stevepatrick
stevepatrick on January 31, 2005 at 8:40 pm

Patsy,
I am originally from Ohio, grew up there, near Lima, though I currently live in Kennebunkport Maine. We are preparing to relocate, and Ohio, Chicago, and New York were on our short list, since I also spent a number of years in Chicago and New York as well. But it now looks as though we will be moving to the Chicago area, and our preference is St. Charles. I’m a Second City Alum and I produce, direct, write, had my own theater company, blah blah blah, and I was looking for a community that had an old theater that I might ply my trade in. I had considered the Calo Theater in
Chicago, but that is now being taken over by other folks. I am thinking this may very well be divine intervention here or something like that. And go figure, it’s in a town called “Saint” Charles. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. Oh, I just wrote to Todd again. Perhaps I’ll hear from him soon. Sorry I got a little long on the boring history of Steve at the beginning of this already too long email.
Steve

Patsy
Patsy on January 31, 2005 at 9:07 pm

No, quite the contrary as I loved reading about your Second City connection! WOW! It’s like I’m talking to “Hollywood”! WOW! BTW, I’m pulling for Jamie Foxx to win Best Supporting Actor for Ray, but like Leonardo in The Aviator! Had to laugh when you wrote about “divine intervention” and the town having the word, “Saint”! And you living in Kennebunkport was fun to read…never been there, but hope to someday! Must check out LL Bean while in the State, too!

TravisCape
TravisCape on February 1, 2005 at 3:27 am

I am a bit confused. I had emailed Classic Cinemas a couple months ago when I noticed that they weren’t running the Arcada. I was told the owner of the building was operating it. It would be a shame if such a nice theatre was lost after having so much work put into it. Then again, it’s sad that distribution politics and former owners deed restrictions have destroyed so many theatres chance to be reopened.

Patsy
Patsy on February 1, 2005 at 3:32 am

Travis: Thanks for weighing in on this hot theatre topic as it would be a shame to see this theatre close after so much work has been put into it! Please email a letter of support to a man named Todd in regards to this theatre’s future! Just go to the official website and click on Contact Us.

Patsy
Patsy on February 1, 2005 at 3:34 am

Stevepatrick: BTW, how has your winter been in Kennebunkport Maine?

Patsy
Patsy on February 1, 2005 at 3:43 am

Arcada Theatre
The following came off the www.visitstcharles.com site about the Arcada Theater………..

105 E. Main Street | St. Charles, IL 60174 | (630) 845-8900
Beautifully restored 1926 theater showing recent films,special presentations, and live in a beautiful setting. LIVE Entertainment nearly every week with special concerts! Bookmark the Arcada’s web site for all the latest! Presenting “At the BREWvies” – select movie times for age 21+ where alcohol is available. The pipe organ is played before the early movies on Friday and Saturday, and there is also live entertainment scheduled. Call or visit the Arcada web site link for details. www.arcadatheatre.com www.arcadatheater.com

stevepatrick
stevepatrick on February 1, 2005 at 4:23 am

Patsy,
Winter in Kennebunkport Maine is…well…let’s see, at least we’ve got a beautiful view of the ocean…oh…and the lobster is good. But as far as culture up here…there’s the yogurt in my fridge.
I am continuing my quest on the Arcada Theatre. Sent an inquiry to another individual who may be of some assistance. I also want to thank Bryan Krefft for posting the article at the top of this page, complete with the Daily Herald link inclusion. Thanks Bryan. I’ll keep you posted Patsy. And if anyone else has any ideas they think might help, please lemme' know. I’m all ears…or as computers would go, I guess I’m all eyes actually.
Thanks!
Steve

Patsy
Patsy on February 1, 2005 at 3:28 pm

You have a great sense of humor and wonderful writing style which I’ve told I have also, but then again a family member got her degree in journalism and works for USDA/Radio in D.C. I’ll keep you posted on anything theatre related that comes across my desk in regards to the Arcada since my hubby travels to St. Charles each and every June for a Corvette show….Bloomington Gold held at Pheasant Run Resort. I have never accompanied him to this Illinois town, but have been told that it is very quaint and just a lovely community with lots of culture and only an hour west of Chicago. If I ever did go with him, I’d take it all in and try to get tickets for an Oprah taping. Your description about Kennebunkport was cute i.e. culture and yogurt! Must ask…..have you ever seen the Presidential family?

Patsy
Patsy on February 1, 2005 at 3:30 pm

And yes a BIG thank you to Bryan Krefft for bringing the Arcada to our immediate attention!

stevepatrick
stevepatrick on February 1, 2005 at 3:40 pm

Patsy,
Yes I have. And I consider them friends. My theater company has performed for Mr.and Mrs.Bush (#41) on a number of occasions, primarily for his Cancer Research Center Fundraiser, and other charitable events that they host. My company is usually the group they call upon in the past few years. They have an amazing sense of humor and are very supportive of the arts community, what little there is up here.

Patsy
Patsy on February 1, 2005 at 9:05 pm

Thanks for the Bush information and since there are 2 pages devoted to the Arcada Theatre this one and the official #63 Arcada Theatre page I try to keep up on both Cinema Treasures pages so this theatre is in need of concern, support and TLC.

Patsy
Patsy on February 1, 2005 at 9:06 pm

Be sure to read the email from Matt/Arcada Theatre on the official Arcada Theatre page!

stevepatrick
stevepatrick on February 1, 2005 at 9:22 pm

Patsy,
Thanks for the info., re. Matt’s info. I started the wheels in motion last night and again this morning with some folks who might be able to help. I’m flying to Chicago in about two weeks and plans are in the works to take a more in-depth look at the situation. Yes, it’s far too early to say all will be well, but at least the theatre and its potential future is getting some attention.
Steve

Patsy
Patsy on February 1, 2005 at 9:47 pm

stevepatrick: You are quite welcome and I wish you the very best on your upcoming trip to Chicagoland! Amazing how a couple of emails can make a difference! And if I find myself in St. Charles in June with my hubby and if you are living there by then, I will most definitely want to meet you!

Patsy
Patsy on February 1, 2005 at 9:54 pm

Upon your return from Chicago I will be interested to know what did or didn’t develop in regards to the Arcada! My fingers will be crossed!

stevepatrick
stevepatrick on February 1, 2005 at 11:03 pm

Patsy,
Thank you for your kind wishes. I will keep you posted on the progress, if there is any to report.
Steve

klimkm
klimkm on February 9, 2005 at 10:32 pm

stevepatrick:

We are longtime patrons of the Arcada theatre.

The group you may want to contact is the Downtown St. Charles partnership. They may already be involved. Their contact and website is: http://www.dtown.org/

Help us not to lose our treasure! As of yet there is no “groundswell” movement to save it yet. I would gladly get involved if necessary!

Thanks.

stevepatrick
stevepatrick on February 9, 2005 at 11:50 pm

klimkm:

Thanks for the note. Here’s what I’ve done so far in the last two weeks; I’ve emailed David Richards, the President of The Downtown St. Charles Partnership, twice last week. He responded to my first email with positive comments and I aniticipate meeting with him during my visit to the Chicago area next week. However, he has not responded to my second follow-up email. I have also gotten some info help from SilentMatt, a member of this website, who hosted a silent movie event at The Arcada some time last year. However, he hasn’t responded to my recent emails either. I have also emailed Todd Smith the former manager of the Arcada. I have emailed him two, maybe three times and left him a phone message all since January 28th. So far, no response from Todd. This past Monday I wrote to the Mayor of St. Charles. So far no response.

I’m beginning to wonder if my computer is not sending these emails.

I read that the owner of The Arcada is a gentleman named Scott Price, and that he lives in Seattle. I found an email address and a phone number of a Scott Price in Seattle. Of all my email attempts and phone messages listed above, this is the guy that was kind enough to respond, but unfortunately only to tell me he’s not the Scott Price I’m looking for, not the owner of the Arcada.

So, if there is indeed any interest in keeping this an operating theater, I’m starting to wonder if its more talk than anything else. I just want to find out what the rent and other lease terms were before I go much further. I’m open to more suggestions, and I do appreciate you caring enough to offer your help.

Sincerely,
Steve

Patsy
Patsy on February 10, 2005 at 3:11 am

I sure hope all the ‘players’ in this saga come together and make this work! St. Charles is too quaint a town to NOT have a theatre!

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