Arcada Theatre ready to reopen its doors

Historic venue in St. Charles has been closed for more than a year because of pandemic

The staff at the Arcada Theatre in downtown St. Charles are ready to greet customers again.

After being closed since March 2020 because of the pandemic, the 900-seat Arcada Theatre is set to reopen this weekend. On Saturday, Chicago tribute band The Chicago Experience will take the stage followed by Peter Noone, best known as the lead singer of ’60s pop band Herman’s Hermits, on Sunday.

“We’re all ready,” said Ron Onesti, president and founder of Onesti Entertainment. “Plus, we have a new source of pride with our new product. It’s basically the Roaring ’20s part two.”

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,” Onesti said. “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.”

And Onesti is excited to have the chance to introduce Saturday’s act.

“I’m probably going to kiss the stage,” he said. “I’ll walk out with the American flag and let people know we’ve made it through another challenging time in our history and an unsure time in our history. But we were strong, we stuck together and we survived.”

Eric Schelkopf

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