Backstage with Ron Onesti: The Arcada and time with Kevin Costner
It’s been 86 years since the Arcada Theatre opened to Vaudeville audiences in St. Charles. The biggest names of the day graced its stage – George Burns and Gracie Allen, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, The Little Rascals and so many more. For the next 80 years, its ride would be a rocky one. From talking pictures to community theater, back to film blockbusters and local events, then to its semi-retirement with $4 brew-n-views.
I have been in the entertainment industry for more than 25 years producing concerts, festivals and corporate events around the country. I had always dreamed of a place to call my own ... a place to showcase the many entertainers with whom I have established a friendship with over the years. When the Arcada became available eight years ago, I pounced on it, and things would never be the same in downtown St. Charles.
Since then, the theater has hosted legendary names in entertainment, produced several television specials and created some of the most memorable events in St. Charles’ history. With almost 30 years in the business, you can only imagine the countless stories and behind-the-scenes encounters I have had. The stories are just so cool, I would like to share some of them with you.
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