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Local

Arcada Theatre, Club Arcada to remain open as safety work continues

Work will continue at the Arcada Theatre to address fire and building code violations in advance of Friday's show featuring former Eagles guitarist Don Felder.
Work will continue at the Arcada Theatre to address fire and building code violations in advance of Friday's show featuring former Eagles guitarist Don Felder.

ST. CHARLES – The building owner and operator of the Arcada Theatre continue to address fire and building code violations.

"Some of the items have been addressed and some have been given additional time for compliance," St. Charles Fire Chief Joe Schelstreet said in an email on March 29. "We continue to work with both the owner's representative and Mr. Onesti as the tenant."

As the work continues, the Arcada Theatre and its accompanying operation, Club Arcada, are open for business as a temporary occupancy permit has been extended, Schelstreet said.

"We will be doing regular visits until all of the work has been finished," he said.

Schelstreet previously said that work was being done on the building's fire alarm, sprinkler system, electrical system and on maintenance of the exits and egress paths. He also said Nicor Gas was doing some work removing the gas meters from the basement.

City officials on March 21 had ordered Arcada Theatre and Club Arcada be closed until code violations were corrected. A day later, officials cleared the Arcada Theatre to reopen.

Onesti Entertainment Corporation leases space in the building at 105 E. Main St. in downtown St. Charles for the Arcada Theatre and Club Arcada. The building is owned by Scott Price, who lives in the state of Washington, Schelstreet said.

Schelstreet said that Ron Onesti, president and founder of Onesti Entertainment Corporation, "has taken the situation very seriously and has committed significant resources to the effort."

"It's a group effort here," Onesti had said. "We're working in cooperation with the government of St. Charles and we're just looking at all things. This is a 93-year-old building. Nothing happened. This is all preventative."

The Arcada Theatre first opened its doors in 1926. Complaints from patrons about overcrowding, accessibility of building exits and the ability to hear the fire alarm during a performance at the Arcada Theatre were made to the St. Charles Fire Department beginning in November 2018, according to a news release from the city of St. Charles. The St. Charles Fire Department followed up on those complaints, found them to be valid and issued notices to correct the conditions.

Because of the extent and nature of additional deficiencies revealed during complaint follow-up inspections, the fire department scheduled a complete code and safety inspection to take place during the building’s regularly scheduled annual review in March, the release stated. The department engaged an independent, third-party fire protection consultant to participate in the detailed review.

This in depth inspection was performed March 12 by Elgin-based B&F Construction Code Services, Inc., along with St. Charles Fire Department officials and city building and code enforcement staff. The results of that detailed inspection necessitated the closure of the Arcada Theatre and Club Arcada, according to the release.

The March 21 show featuring the band Jackyl was postponed after the Arcada Theatre was ordered to close.

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