Arcada Theater

105 E. Main Street,
St. Charles, IL 60174

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Showing 1 - 25 of 96 comments

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on February 20, 2014 at 7:38 am

The Arcada’s pipe organ was built by Marr & Colton, originally 3 manuals and 10 ranks of pipes. Its original console supposedly adorned with flamingos. Early in the organ’s life it was rebuilt and expanded to 16 ranks by the Geneva organ company. The existing Art Deco style console dates from that time. Marr & Colton and Geneva were companies that specialized in building pipe organs for theatres but they are not remembered as being the top tier in that category (as for example, Wurlitzer, Kimball, Robert Morton). In short, a Marr & Colton was a lot cheaper than a Wurlitzer. It’s interesting that the owners of the Aracada, obviously building to high standards, choose an organ which was a definite nod to “economy.”

DAL on January 4, 2013 at 9:58 am

When this theatre only had two triplexes as competition, it could churn out some big boxoffice numbers with a good booking. A couple of interesting facts: (1) Aside from a theatre organ, there was also a turntable in the stage floor. (2) When a would-be burglar broke in and attempted to rob the house safe, all they were able to do was to ruin the dial and make it impossible to access. The safe and its contents were left alone, since it was going to cost more to access the safe than the house fund contained!

jwballer on March 7, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Heres some more photos
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jwballer on July 8, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Here are some photos of the newly restored marquee
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jwballer on April 14, 2010 at 1:01 pm

1929 Exterior
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Current Exterior
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Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 11, 2009 at 9:41 am

This is a working link for the Arcada website.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 20, 2009 at 6:01 pm

This is a nice close-up photo.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 18, 2009 at 6:14 pm

Here are two 1984 photos:



Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 12, 2008 at 8:24 pm

This is an October 2008 photo.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 10, 2008 at 10:52 am

Another photo can be seen here.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 25, 2008 at 10:19 am

A b/w photo can be seen here.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 5, 2008 at 8:07 pm

This is a recent night view.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 4, 2007 at 12:23 pm

Here is a close-up view of the Arcada Theater.

IceCoach on July 7, 2007 at 9:04 pm

I am so glad that the Arcada will go on. My Dad was a projectionist there in the 50’s and early 60’s. I can remember seeing the Ten Commandments there and I will always remember that. I can also remember the ladder that my Dad had to climb to reach the projection booth. I don’t know how he did it every day. I remember the Saturday matinees showing all of our favorite cartoons on the large screen. I am glad that another generation will be able to enjoy a great theater.

JoiaLucht on February 23, 2007 at 6:56 am

Good afternoon! As a member of Onesti Entertainment, I wanted to stop by and thank you all for your enthusiastic support of The Arcada! As youâ€\ve noted, Onesti Entertainment has taken over the management of the Theatre. You can keep track of our shows by visiting If you are interested in receiving our email newsletters, feel free to email me () and Iâ€\ll add you to the list.

As I believe has been mentioned here, there are still movies shown at The Arcada. You will frequently see silent movies shown with live organ music, as well as film fests, classic flicks, and favorite pop culture movies like “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” We also have live events, such as concerts, ballet, theater and community events.

Restoring The Arcada is a work of love for Ron Onesti, owner of Onesti Entertainment. He is enthusiastic about maintaining the original splendor of the theatre while introducing new generations to the fun and excitement of a classic theatre. If you have any suggestions or requests, we would be happy to hear from you.

Thank you again for your support of The Arcada Theater!

Joia Noel Lucht
Director of Festivals & Special Events

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 13, 2007 at 2:26 pm

Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994

Arcada Theater Building (added 1994 – Building – #94000977)
Also known as The Arcada
105 E. Main St. and 1st Ave., St. Charles
Historic Significance: Architecture/Engineering, Event
Architect, builder, or engineer: Norris, Lester J., Behrns, Elmer F.
Architectural Style: Moderne, Mission/Spanish Revival
Area of Significance: Architecture, Entertainment/Recreation
Period of Significance: 1925-1949
Owner: Private
Historic Function: Commerce/Trade, Recreation And Culture, Social
Historic Sub-function: Business, Meeting Hall, Restaurant, Specialty Store, Theater
Current Function: Commerce/Trade, Recreation And Culture
Current Sub-function: Business, Restaurant, Specialty Store, Theater

klimkm on October 23, 2006 at 6:45 am

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.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 14, 2006 at 11:45 am

This is a recent photo of the Arcada Theater.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 9, 2006 at 1:05 pm

This website has some photos and information about the Marr & Colton theater organ.

kmac on July 27, 2006 at 6:11 am

Hello, I am working with Onesti Entertainment to put together a documentary celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Arcada Theatre. I am currently doing research into the history of the Arcada and the usage of the Arcada throughout different era of American history. If anyone has already preformed some research and would like to contribute it would be appreciated. As another part of the documentary we would also like to look at the “uniqueness” of the Arcada, why this theatre is so special. For this section we are looking for ways the Arcada has touched individual lives, so if you have a story about the theatre(meeting a significant other there, former employee, anything that is unique and interesting) let me know. Shoot me an e-mail at

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 5, 2006 at 8:09 am

Here are 2005 photos of the Arcada Theater. Click each photo to expand it.

kencmcintyre on June 1, 2006 at 3:34 pm

Unless I missed it, I don’t see that anyone has posted Onesti’s web page for the Arcada: