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I went to the 80th anniversary vaudeville show, and I really thought that Onesti group and the three sheeters club that put on the show did a great job of re-creating what I think must have been what a true vaudeville show was like back then. It was very enjoyable. Good job.
Check out today’s “The lights are back on at the Arcada” article in the Kane county chronicle. Finally they have re-opened and are doing live entertainment. And the first show looks like it was a success. Thank goodness – I would have been so sad to see it go the way of the Geneva theatre (a subway sandwich shop) or the Dupage (torn down).
Kudos to those who made this happen… hope the success is ongoing.
The outfit that has taken over the management of the Arcada operations is Onesti entertainment. I have checked out their website and they look OK – only time will tell. I hope that they can make a go of it. There is lots of competition in the fox valley area for theatre patrons.
There was a public meeting last Friday – sounds like an open forum type of thing that Onesti hosted. Which is a good sign, that means they are looking for input anyway. I was unable to make.
I would hope that they can bring at least some “family centric” entertainment to the Arcada. There are lots of new homes out this way now and people who are looking for entertainment that the whole family can enjoy. Maybe a “variety” type of show. Pheasant run has more “adult” themed plays. Norris is more cultural entertainment. The other larger venues like the Hemmens and the Paramount in aurora have concerts. Kind of like the shows they put on at the Rosemont theatre for kids “blues clues” “sesame street”, etc. Something that kids would really like. These people out here will spend money on entertaining their kids.
It is way too nice of a venue to have been closed forever. And in a primo location too. Wish the Arcada luck!
The point is that the movie is advertised to begin at 8:00. It does not – the ADS begin at 8:00. So that is a deceptive business practice. End of story. The theatres should publish the exact start time of the movie…
I hate those ads. Especially when the commercials are inappropriately marketed to the audience at a particular movie. I went to a G-rated movie with my kids. One of the ads we were forced to sit through was a sexy perfume ad. With the high prices they charge for their admissions, and the really high prices they charge for their food, the ads are just the last straw…
Previews OK – commercials NOT… and on top of that the movies do not start at the listed time, they trick you into being there for those commercials.
If I remember correctly, it was closed for a few years before Classic bought it. I lived in Elmhurst at the time and it was a hassle trying to go see a movie as a teen. There was no movie house in town and couldn’t drive… so we had to get “dropped off” at OakBrook, Yorktown, or Hillside theatres.
Prior to that I remember seeing lots of movies there. I remember they had a Saturday matinee – for $1 or so, you could get in a see a “kid appropriate” movie. Every kid in Elmhurst was there – as you can imagine the place was a free-for all. Lots of fun though…
Most recent news – I didn’t know whether I should post this under “news” or here…
But here is an article from the Kane County Chronicle by Roald Haase business editor – regarding ongoing Arcada plans:
Interest spurs hope of reopening.
It’s been only three weeks since we learned the historic Arcada Theatre was going to go dark â€" at least for now.
Yet in just that short span, news about the 79-year-old St. Charles venue appears to have spurred renewed interest in various quarters about reopening the building’s theater as a performing arts center.
When theater operator Todd Smith decided to give up his efforts to present live entertain-ment and movies at the theater, it was a grim day indeed. After all, the theater has been a central fact of Fox Valley life since the mid-1920s.
And Smith’s drive to keep it open had been Herculean, despite the fact that its best days as a film theater seemed behind it.
But as I learned Thursday, the news of the Arcada’s shuttering did not go unnoticed.
David Richards, executive director of the Downtown St. Charles Partnership Inc. â€" a downtown promotions group â€" told me the articles about Smith and his struggle to keep the Arcada open struck a chord with the public.
To date, Richards said, there have been three expressions of interest from parties who might want to lease the theater portion of the building. In addition, there have been contacts with two people who have suggested they might want to buy it.
Richards' group does not own the historic building situated at Main Street and First Avenue. But the Partnership is acting as a stand-in for owner Scott Price, who lives in Bellevue, Wash. Partnership officials show off the building to whoever expresses interest.
“We are working very closely with the owner, because he is in Washington state,” Richards said.
Richards said it is too early in the process to say if any of the expressions of interest will bear fruit. But he appeared hopeful. He dismissed any idea that the Arcada once more will flourish as a movie theater, however.
“In talking with other people in the community with regard to the movie theater, the vast majority see they can’t make it as just a movie house,” Richards said.
The Partnership’s role is simply to pass along the information about prospective buyers to the owner, Richards said.
He was asked, too, about his suggestion that a nonprofit foundation take it over.
“That (the foundation idea) is still in the exploration stage,” Richards said.
One preference the Downtown Partnership has for the theater is that it be operated and owned by someone in the area, Richards said. It makes it easier to coordinate the Partnership’s volunteer marketing efforts and those of the owner.
In this, Richards left no doubt that he is interested in more than simply finding someone to lease the 900-plus seat theater. In addition to locating someone who wants the theater for plays, music events and other live entertainment, Richards said he wants there to be a long-term entity to assure the building’s architectural integrity.
It’s not certain a foundation will be that entity, Richards said. A lot of study has to be done to make the right decision, he said. Whatever is done, interior improvements to the theater and arcade areas have to be made.
“To be able to save this jewel will have to take a community-wide effort,” Richards said. “We will have to bring it up to today’s standards.”
Hope this helps…
I just received a correspondence from the head of the Downtown St. Charles partnership that basically states:
Thanks for your interest in helping keep the Arcada Theater as a viable, long-term venue for the performing arts. In truth, there are many people working behind the scenes to develop a not-for-profit of some sort to own / manage the facility. At this point, we don’t know exactly what direction it will take; however, the theater remains open for rentals for special events (dance recitals, live concerts, etc.).
At least it is not BAD news….Just though I would drop an update for those interested…..
Tom Schlueter is another contact journalist at the Kane County Chronicle BTW.
I don’t know what the deal is with having a problem getting the contact # of Scott Price. Super – Secret – Special info I guess. There is considerable rental holdings in the upper floors which brings in lots of $ I am sure. A temp agency, a dance studio, a photgrapher, a tax person, etc. etc.
If you have problems after all these contactings – you are encountering politics my man. That is what happens with a lot of theatre closings I think. Towns get an agenda and that is it… it gets pushed through – right or wrong. The good thing is that I know the downtown partnership has members who want it to preserve it which is nice.
If you are serious about running / purchasing a movie theatre though – there are several in the Chicago burbs area that are having problems at this very moment. Number one on my list is the Dupage theatre in Lombard (great location near a train station!) and the Grand Wheaton (wheaton grand?) in Wheaton, IL. Possibly the LaGrange, in LaGrange. Don’t know the status of that lately though. I know the Egyptian in Dekalb always is having funding problems, but is is run by a non-profit org. That one is Way cool – one of six egyptian ones left in the country. It doesn’t sound like it would ever be for sale…it is on the national register of historic sites or something. They are all on the listed here on the website.
BTW – I am technically an “outsider” too. I live in St. Charles township.
Eric Schelkopf at the Kane County Chronicle is a place to start. The editor could also give you the contact who is assigned to Arcada news. It is a fine publication and they are always looking for a possible “scoop”.
In my experience, Kane County tends to the cautious side in regards to any development. They move slowly…
BTW – anime is Japanese animation. Very hot these days…. I personally don’t care for it. But young kids sure do.
Just a warning though – it kind of sounds like the SC downtown partnership is committed to championing the Arcada as a live venue. Whether it will fly or not is another story – there is lots of competition in the area for that sort of entertainment.
It sounds like they do not want it operating as a movie theatre at all. Which is too bad… The sound system and screen were very nice. What a waste…. Good luck!
I will try and make some phone calls tomorrow if I have time. If I find anything out, I will post here. Thanks for everything. I believe that the St. Charles downtown partnership is currently working with the League of historic american theatres group. The Tivoli in Downers Grove is also a member of this – the Tivoli is run by classic Cinemas – the previous owner of the Arcada.
I know that certain members of the St. Charles downtown partnership have an eye to return it to a live theatre venue. Could work – maybe not… it just needs the right type of “popular” entertainment I would think.
Think – “youth and family” market… I think that the Arcada had a decent turnout for their steel drum thing.
Moving in from the city twelve years ago – we were pleased to see that there was a “movie palace” in our backyard. We are long-time patrons and would hate to have it meet the fate of the Geneva theatre and become offices (or whatever it became). We would love somewhere close to here to host a “film festival” type of thing – even if it is once a year or so. And I would think that “anime” would go over huge with the teens here – I know a lot of 16-21 year olds are into it around here – big time.
Regarding the e-mail of sue Klinkhamer – I don’t know if I could post it. I tried to post a link but my post was pulled because you are not allowed to post a link to anywhere. I don’t know about an e-mail. St. Charles, Illinois does have a website however. Google it – if interested.
I don’t remember the movie theatre but I do believe the facade of the subsequent “Palace Bowl” was in the movie “Uncle Buck”. I recognized it immediately!! I used to live in the neighborhood around there. Check it out next time you watch the movie.
I remember going here as a small child with my grandparents. I remember seeing “snow white” here as a very small child. Also Mary Poppins – my first movie experiences were here and the York Theatre in Elmhurst. I remember seeing “Saturday Night Fever” here.
That orb was so retro – I loved it!!
I remember that is had a smoking corral – you never wanted to sit in the balcony above the smoking section – I remember that. I also recall that the interior was a very period flat limestone walls type of thing. Also it had a fountain or something in the interior. I really liked this theatre in it’s glory and though it was very cool!
St. Charles is definitely a destination city here in IL. If you check out the web, you will find much information on it. I went to a show at the Arcada last year that was a “tribute” band show and the theatre was absolutely packed to the rafters. I wish the Arcada would have put on more of these youth oriented tribute band shows at least to pay their bills…
The teens turned out in droves to hear the band simply because these bands usually play in bars – where they cannot go because they are underaged. I know it would have been nice when I was a teen to have the opportunity to see a rock band somewhere locally.
Unfortunately, the pressure is on the Arcada because St. Charles has a lot of “local” entertainment experiences competing. We have the “Norris cultural arts” center which puts on large scale shows and music concerts. We have “pheasant run” which puts on plays and dinner theatre experiences. Those are the two biggies I can think of. We also currently have a defunct and for sale “box” theatre which was classic cinemas before they decided to multiplex as part of the St. Charlestowne mall.
I am wondering about the feasibility of showing “foreign” and alternative movies at the Arcada. Not the big blockbusters – but shows like the recent “Sideways” that is garnering much attention yet around here cannot be found in theatres except for one way in Barrington… And perhaps do a film festival type of thing. One weekend of anime, a 70s film fest, etc… It works in the cities. Don’t know if it would fly in the burbs though. But I am aware that the Hinsdale theatre tried the foreign and alternative film route with no success. The Hinsdale are now defunct also – this is so sad that they could not give it a go – in a town with that much $$$$$$$… so sad they couldn’t save it.
Good luck all! BTW – the St. Charles mayor is named Sue Klinkhamer for the record. If anyone wishes to contact her.
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!