Enthusiastic crowds help Arcada Theatre reopen its doors

To say that Kathy Steplyk is a Peter Noone fan is an understatement.

Steplyk of Libertyville was at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles on July 11 to see Noone, best known as the lead singer of the 1960s pop band Herman’s Hermits. After being closed since March 2020 because of the pandemic, the 900-seat Arcada Theatre reopened this past weekend.

It was Steplyk’s first live concert since January 2020.

“We’ve been waiting,” she said. “Peter Noone is a phenomenal performer.”

Steplyk became a fan of Herman’s Hermits as a youngster.

“I knew all the words to their songs and had all their records,” she said. “And now our son is a huge fan and he knows all the words.”

Accompanying her at the sold-out show was her husband, Michael, and their son, Jonathan.

“The first time I saw him as an adult, I had a smile on my face the entire concert,” she said. “I was just enthralled.”

Noone seemed just as excited to be back on stage. He stepped off the stage several times during the show to interact with the audience.

After the show, Greg Springer of Hanover Park spoke enthusiastically about Noone’s performance.

“He’s 73 years old, and he’s still jumping around like he’s 17,” Springer said.

He watched the concert with Scott Comperda of Yorkville. Comperda said he was glad to be able to hear live music again.

“I missed the energy of not only the entertainer, but also the crowd,” Comperda said. “That atmosphere is what really brings you alive. This is the third time I’ve seen Peter Noone, twice with Greg, and [Noone] is a showman. He just brings a unique connection to the audience during his entire show.”

Many changes were made to the Arcada Theatre building when it was closed.

Two new restaurants – Rock ’N Za and Rock ’N Ravioli – are set to open in the Arcada Theatre building as part of a major renovation project that includes new eateries, hotel suites and additional bathrooms.

The expansion project began to take shape last year after Frontier Development bought the Arcada building in 2019. Onesti Entertainment leases space in the building for the Arcada Theatre and Club Arcada.

The historic building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, first opened its doors in 1926 and attracted performers such as George Burns and Gracie Allen. The Arcada Theatre’s sister operation, the Club Arcada Speakeasy & Restaurant, reopened in May to great enthusiasm.

“People are just having such a great time,” said Ron Onesti, president of Onesti Entertainment. “And they’re just excited to be back. It’s kind of like going back to school after summer vacation. People are so much happier, I think.”

Eric Schelkopf

Eric Schelkopf covers St. Charles and writes entertainment stories for the Kane County Chronicle.