“The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what’s in between,
and they took great pleasure in doing just that.”
Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth, 1970 (film adaptation)
Early in 2017, Chris, Bruce, and Jeff looked into the possibilities of purchasing and restoring the theater. We began by determining the purchase price of the building, as well as the overall cost involved for a full restoration. Once figured, we could put together a more formal plan. Due to the fact that the theater was an iconic part of Shawnee’s history, we knew that we wanted to work together with the City of Shawnee to bring this plan to fruition. So, with help from the City of Shawnee and the Kansas Small Business Development Center, we formulated our complete business plan and financials.
Once the business plan and financials were completed, we determined that the only way this business would be viable was with some financial assistance. Working together with the City of Shawnee, we mutually agreed upon a deal that would include financial assistance from the City, to be used solely for a portion of the restoration of the theater. The Aztec Group would need to use their own personal funds to purchase the actual building, and the remaining portion of the restoration costs would be covered through donations.
On September 25, 2017, the Shawnee City Council formally approved the funding agreement, and on October 2, 2017, we purchased the building at 11119 Johnson Drive.