Arcada Theatre Headed For Renovations

Since Ron Onesti took over the
– Ron Onesti
A headshot of Ron Onesti.
Onesti has booked the theatre since 2005, investing $500,000 of his own money for much of those initial renovations. He recently made headlines when the Chicago Daily Herald reported an 16-month-old letter from Onesti to the city making it clear they would need to help renovate the theatre or he would be leaving.
Onesti told Pollstar negotiations had progressed substantially from when he wrote that letter and the city has been very helpful in putting together a plan.
“I’m happy to say that I believe all parties involved are going to keep it going,” he said. “I believe in the next couple months upgrades to the restroom facilities and HVAC are going be put in place, and the theatre and I will live happily ever after.”
The letter that lit a fire under the city came after there was a brief power outage during a New Kids On The Block show. That gig also reportedly had huge lines for the bathroom and highlighted the need for renovations.
The 900-capacity Arcada Theatre is averaging 672 tickets per show, and Onesti said they are hosting 250 headline gigs each year. Onesti boasted that 68 percent of attendees at any given Arcada show are return customers.
That busy schedule is not going to be disrupted, Onesti said, as upgrades to the facility will be planned around a 2018 performance schedule that already includes Kenny G and Gene Simmons. He said the influence of the theatre has been noticed by the city, and was documented in a recent economic impact study, which showed the venue was bringing millions of dollars into the city.
While more meetings were scheduled to hammer out details, Arcada Theatre owner Scott Price of Arcada Bldg LLC told Pollstar the main holdup was the city’s indecision regarding how to use land from a city-owned adjacent property. Price said he wants to be able to use some of the city-owned land in Arcada’s renovations and the city was waffling on how to proceed.
St. Charles’ City Administrator Mark Koenen told Pollstar: “There has been some good communication with Mr. Onesti and I am confident that we can come up with some project that meets the needs of all stakeholders.”