105 E. Main Street,
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The Arcada Theater opened on September 6, 1926. With Spanish-Venetian decor, the theater was originally a vaudeville palace, designed by architect Elmer F. Behrns. It could seat a little over 1,000. Among the stars to appear on its stage in its early years were George Burns & Gracie Allen, Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy and Jeanette McDonald.
During the 1940’s, and again in the 1960’s, the theater underwent renovations and remodelings, including one in the 1960’s which reduced its seating to 900 by adding wider seats and aisles. The Arcada Theater was operated by Plitt and Cineplex Odeon in the 1980’s and early-1990’s, and in 1993 was sold to Classic Cinemas, whose owners painstakingly restored the Arcada Theater to its original appearance and also made many upgrades to the theater, including DTS sound and modern cinema equipment. The Arcada Theater was one of the jewels of the Classic Cinemas chain.
Privately owned, since 2001 when Classic Cinemas sold it (they took over the 18-screen Charlestowne Mall theaters that year, also in St. Charles) the Arcada Theater functioned as a venue for live performances, brew and view type movie showings, and classic silent movie screenings, accompanied by the Arcada’s organ. Also, big television events were also shown on the large 20' by 40' screen, such as the Superbowl and Academy Awards.
In January of 2005, the outgoing previous ownership of the Arcada Theater announced that it would be closing the theater. However, during the summer of 2005, the Arcada Theater reopened under new management, now operating as a venue for concerts, live stage performances, special events and film screenings.
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