Global Journeys with Jill Dutton

Shawnee, Kansas: Breathing New Life into the Historic Aztec Theater with Jeffrey Calkins

September 12, 2023 Jill Dutton Season 1 Episode 11
Global Journeys with Jill Dutton
Shawnee, Kansas: Breathing New Life into the Historic Aztec Theater with Jeffrey Calkins
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Join us as we journey to the heartland of America, to Shawnee, Kansas, where history and culture intertwine in the form of a historical gem - The Aztec Theater. Our special guest, Jeffrey Calkins, co-owner of the theater, spins tales of its past as a movie hub, its role in rejuvenating the downtown area, and the hurdles they overcame in preserving this cinematic treasure trove. This episode is not just about a building; it's about the stories that live within its walls and the memories etched into its architecture.

Imagine stepping into an old theater, feeling the pulse of live concerts, the laughter and tears resonating from countless movie screenings, and the sense of community that thrives in each corner. Jeffrey graces us with the intricate details of renovating a historic theater, from working with the city to bring the building up to code, to deciding on the seating and design elements that reflect its original charm. Marvel at tales of sound testing, future event planning, and the potential of hosting movie festivals, painting a vivid picture of the Aztec Theater's transformation.

But it's not just about the theater. Jeffrey shares how the rebirth of the Aztec Theater gave a new lease on life to downtown Shawnee. Listen as we showcase the businesses, restaurants, and hidden gems that sprung up in the wake of the theater's revitalization.  Embark on this journey with us, as we unravel a tale of history, entertainment, and community revival.

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Speaker 1:

Welcome to Global Journeys with Jill Dutton, the captivating travel podcast that takes you on an extraordinary adventure around the world. I'm your host, jill Dutton, and I am thrilled to be your guide through the mesmerizing tapestry of cultures, landscapes and experiences that await us. Global Journeys with Jill Dutton is more than just a travel podcast. It's an exploration of humanity itself. Through the power of storytelling, we illuminate the lives of the remarkable individuals we encounter along the way, whether it's through the eyes of a fishing guide, a distillery owner, a mixologist, a historian, chef, or even a farmer. Each person we meet adds a rich layer to the narrative of culture and place. In this podcast, we embark on a transformative journey where the focus goes beyond the typical tourist attractions. Instead, we dive deep into the hearts and souls of the places we visit, uncovering the hidden gems and untold stories that make each destination truly unique. Join me as we venture off the beaten path, seeking authenticity, connection and a deeper understanding of the world we inhabit. Together, we'll unravel the tapestry of cultures, one story at a time. Although my writing career began in the late 90s, when I created and launched a wellness publication called Evolving Magazine, since 2015 I've worked as a travel writer on a mission to seek out the locally celebrated foods, liquor trends, outdoor activities and stories of those I meet along the way. My work has been published in Wine Enthusiast, a far woman's world, first for women, insider road trippers, modern farmer chilled magazine and many more digital and print publications. I'm also the creator of Global Plates the people we meet, the food they eat a syndicated column. Creating this podcast is the next step in my journey of sharing the stories of the people I've met along the way. So pack your curiosity, leave your preconceived notions behind and let's embark on Global Journeys with Jill Dutton, where each episode promises to inspire, educate and awaken the wanderlust within us all. The sound clip we just heard was of Petty Thieves KC, a Tom Petty cover band playing at the renovated Aztec Theater in Shawnee, kansas. In today's episode we meet Jeffrey Cawkins, a co-owner of the Aztec Theater, who shares with us the magic of history, entertainment and community revival. We're taking you to the heartland of America, to the charming city of Shawnee, kansas. Nestled within this suburban gem lies a historic treasure that has not only stood the test of time but has played a pivotal role in revitalizing the entire downtown area, from its early historical reference to the recent revival. This iconic venue has witnessed decades of change, yet it remains an essential part of the local culture and a testament to the power of preservation and innovation. In today's episode, we explore the rich history of the Aztec Theater, from its early days as a movie hub to its transformation into a thriving cultural center. We'll also delve into the role it played in attracting new businesses and reinvigorating the heart of downtown Shawnee. And, of course, we'll hear from Jeffrey Cawkins himself about the challenges, triumphs and countless stories that come with preserving such a cherished piece of history. So, without further ado, please join me in welcoming Jeffrey Cawkins to Global Journeys with Jill Dutton. Hi Jeff, hi Jill. How are you this morning? I'm doing very well. How are you? I am good. I am good. So can you share the story?

Speaker 2:

behind the Aztec Theater.

Speaker 1:

It's opening but as well as its historical significance and kind of what led you to this whole project, it's been around a long time the theater's been around.

Speaker 2:

It was built in 1927. So obviously it had, you know, it was ingrained in Shawnee for a long time. So that's you know, as far back as that goes. That's kind of where that started. But the thing is it opened in 1927, you know it survived through the Depression. As a matter of fact, it was movie theaters were pretty popular during the Depression because it was just a crazy cheap way of getting entertainment and distracting you know people for a couple of hours, especially in its time, because you could I mean it was probably a nickel, I mean, which still was a lot of money at the time. But it is and it's still, as far as movies go, it's one of the least expensive forms of entertainment out there. You know where you can go for If you really think about it, I always got to thinking about movies and how much they cost. Like we used to go see a movie for, you know, three or four dollars and you know I'm like $12 for a movie and you think about it, $12. This is a two and a half hour movie and plus all the other stuff, and you're kind of engrossed and it really is very inexpensive. So it goes back quite a ways and obviously it also was one of the first. I think it was the first building in Johnson County that had air conditioning. So although it was a very basic form of it, it had a cistern and then the air would blow over and cool the air inside. So it was a very early version of air conditioning but it still was. So that had to have been kind of a plus for people in the 30s and 40s. That's got to be yeah.

Speaker 1:

I bet, and I'm assuming, it's been modernized since then.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, a little bit so. And then in the late 40s Dickinson bought the theater which originally called the, called Mission Theater, obviously, where it's architectural style but built by the Bollard brothers in 1927. But Dickinson bought it in the late 40s, did some remodeling, had a grand reopening. We've got some literature that shows the grand reopening never really tells exactly when, it was like 1948, 49, somewhere in that range, and they owned it clear up to 74. And about that time in the early 70s is when everybody was going to the multi-screen theaters instead of just single screens. So they closed it down and the Shawnee State Bank on the corner, just a few doors down, bought the space and was just using it for storage and that's and it just sort of sat. Late 90s the city of Shawnee had a company come in to do a study on how to revitalize the downtown Shawnee area and called there's a group called Hyde Palma and they did a. They did a. They do a bunch of research. It's that's what they do. They go into these places and they determine what, what can revitalize it. You know different programs, different things you can do for businesses and they came up with this, this multiple page report 200, some page report, I believe that outlined different things the city could do to revitalize their downtown area and did you say that was in the 70s? No, that was in the 90s, oh, 90s, okay good, late 90s, late mid to late 90s, that had to been late 90s. And so that the, the programs, so they did things like you know, working with businesses to help, you know, offset some of the costs of revamping their, their storefronts and things like that to help them out. So it would give incentive for people to make it look nicer and draw a new business and things like that. And one of the things in the in this report was to open the, the theater which, as most people know, it was the Aztec. It was renamed the Aztec by Dickinson back in the 40s. So most people from Shawnee remember it as the Aztec theater. But you know the study they couldn't. They couldn't say you know by name of, you know retail chains or restaurants and all this stuff that they couldn't. But they did mention the theater to open the historic theater because they knew that an area, a district, can be revitalized if you've got an historic theater and you can get it reopened. It's a draw to bring in people and other businesses. So the city set out to kind of do that and the gentleman purchased the, the theater back from the Shawnee State Bank, which at that time would have been Commerce Bank, I think but gentlemen bought it, put the, put a marquee up that came from the Plaza Theater in Abilene so it has some local, somewhat local historical significance as well and began, you know, restoring the theater. So that never came to fruition. It's not the easiest thing in the world to do and multiple people kind of tried it. The gentleman that owned it was movie producer, it was Wade Williams. He had it for a long time and multiple people tried to redo it. He kind of worked on it. Some had his crews and they're working and just didn't quite, you know, finish it out. And then in 2017, right at the start of the Shawnee's what they call their Neiman Now project, which is the revitalization that they really did all of Neiman Road, took all the utility poles down, narrowed the street from four lanes to three with a turn lane, the bike and walking path, just kind of beautified the area from Shawnee Mission Parkway clear up to like 55th Street and beyond to the north. So that was going on. So there was a lot of meetings and stuff about that and a story came out in Kansas City Star that the Aztec had been sold and there was a gentleman that had bought it and he was. This was in January of 2017, he was going to restore it. It was going to be a community project. They were going to have live theater and they were going to have live theater movies, all this stuff, and it was going to be open in June and he was rallying the whole community around it to kind of invest in it, have the community more so than just being wanting to do it. The community would throw some money at it and he would revitalize this. My brother knew Wade. He'd known Wade, the guy that owned the theater, for the longest time. He's known him for years through other avenues. So my brother called Wade and said he'd seen the article in the paper that he'd sold the theater to congratulate him. And Wade said no, he hadn't really sold the theater. So he wasn't sure what the guy was doing. He said the guy had come to look at it. He hadn't really sold it. And so one of the Neimanau meetings down at City Hall, my brother was telling me this story. He said in the process of talking to Wade. Wade told Chris. He said why don't you buy it? And I knew my brother had interested it at one time. But that's an awful big project that you don't have any knowledge in or what it is. It would just be kind of fun because we've been a part of the Shawnee our family for generations, so having an historic piece that we know the community is rallying around just seemed like a good thing to do. At least my brother did. And so one of the Neimanau meetings he's telling me this story and he asks if I have interest in going in with him in this business venture. So and I agreed he and I worked together in our family business for years and he had retired four years earlier from that, and so you know, it seemed like something that he had interest in and I thought it would be kind of kind of interesting, especially with it being a community project. So that's really where it all started.

Speaker 1:

Oh my gosh, and this is 2017. 2017, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so January, february, that range.

Speaker 1:

And when did you open up the theater after it was renovated?

Speaker 2:

December of 2020.

Speaker 1:

2020. Okay, so tell me about that process. Were there challenges? I'm sure there were challenges, but no, no, it was super simple, really.

Speaker 2:

The first thing was we needed to get a contract for an attempt to buy the building so that we could see if it was a viable project. That was the first big, big stumbling block, because you know, we don't want to just jump into this, buy a building and then find out oh no, this is way too expensive to renovate. We don't know what to do, we'll let alone operate the business after it's open. So the first big one was we had to get in a contract with Wade to say, hey, we'll give you, we'll put some money down to show interest. You don't sell it to anybody for a period of time, for a few months, while we decide if it's viable. So that was the first one. So we got a contract with him figured out it was way more money than we could possibly ever, you know, if we had, you know, bottomless pockets my brother and I are both big on community, especially with Shawnee because so we would have just said let's just do it and not worry about it. But you know, we still have to survive too and we want to make, we want to do it right. So in looking at the numbers, it just it just was not viable. And when we said we talked about it with some people from the city, they said, well, because of this Neiman Now project, there may be some funds available from the city to help revitalize this, and it would be back and forth. So we didn't know if that was a grant, if that was a loan or whatever that was to help us restore it, but it would make it easier. So that's where that. So then we looked at those numbers figured out. Well, it would take a long time before we would ever see profitability, but it might sustain itself enough that we could get it restored and start that revitalization kind of idea that the study had done back in the late 90s or early 2000. So that's where that came from. We put together a full business plan. We did a, got estimates on everything to do. We got funding from the city. We closed on the building in October, first week of October in 2017. And then we began. We hired a general contractor, which is another group that has strong ties to Shawnee and Bratton Brothers, ron Bratton and his crew. Actually, there's a side note Ron and my brother worked together much younger to tell you how long ago it was at Garrett's Groceries in downtown Shawnee.

Speaker 1:

Oh, wow.

Speaker 2:

So Ron had as and still has, strong ties to Shawnee, so it was another good fit for us to work with somebody else that's got Shawnee ties. And then again you've got building and architectural drawings and renovations and costs and things. And people ask us if you know, because it was taking a long time, you know, was the city holding us up at all? And the reality was I always told people no, when you know what you're supposed to do, and you do what you're supposed to do cities really work with you very well. You know they don't. They don't test any special deals or anything like that. It's just when people say, okay, you need to do this, and you go. Okay and you do it. They know you're and we're working together. So we had some stumbling blocks with trying to get the heating and cooling done and things like that, but that's common to any sort of historical project, sure.

Speaker 1:

So I'm curious, had it been since the 40s, since it had been updated?

Speaker 2:

I think they had to. I know they revamped the lobby area at one time because it kind of had more of a like a 60s feel. But since it closed in 74, it would have been in that timeframe so, and you would have had to, you would have figured in that timeframe. Some of the systems would have been, you know, would have had to been upgraded. But then again, depending on you know who was running the business, it may not have they just go about and just sit, so and once it's just storage area, it's probably just heating and cooling and that's it. It was real basic. Nothing really had been done. And then of the things that had been done in the early 2000s, the most of that had to be removed because of course it wasn't up to code, to our codes, because it had already been, you know, 15 to 20 years since then. So it was basically we basically had to gut it and it was pretty rough inside. That's what I was curious.

Speaker 1:

So what are some of the aesthetics? So what did you modernize and what did you keep anything the same. I'm trying to remember I was there to see the the petty thieves show and that was so much fun. But I can't remember if the seats seemed like they were, you know.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so there were no seats in it. Seats came with the theater. It was part of purchase agreement because Wade had other seats. We, we had the opportunity to buy vintage, the small vintage seats like you'd think of in an old theater, with the wood backs and the end of all the seats and things like that. But our, our thought on that was if we could find something that was tied to the community, something somewhat vintage but still comfortable and a little bit more modern, we'd use those. We ended up he had, believe, about 300 seats, because that's what we were shooting for. Some were between 250 and 300 seats that came from the Crown Center Senate in the 80s, late 70s, early 80s. Okay, they were, they were, if you've ever, if you'd ever, been to that one. They were, they were red and gold cloth but they they rocked and they had cup holders and much more comfortable than than the vintage little wood and and velvet chairs, but still a local tie. And we opted for those and had those re-upholstered in black vinyl, just kind of a neutral for the area, so that it wouldn't, you know, it wouldn't really be a design piece. It would just sort of disappear into the background and then everything else would stand out. So we so we have, we have those, most everything else, the clay and plaster walls that would have to be covered. There was a lot of fixing on those, the of anything that, the only things that are original other than structural. Obviously, aesthetic-wise, the original bathroom upstairs in the office was the only bathroom in there since 1927.

Speaker 1:

Oh my gosh.

Speaker 2:

And obviously for modern day you have to have access. You can't go up a flight of stairs to have bathrooms. You can't go by one bathroom. It had one bathroom for everybody, had no sink in it, had a toilet with a stall and it had a trough-style urinal. That's all it had and it was that way forever, I'm sure, clare, up to 74 when it closed. So that bathroom. We modernized the bathroom and it's in the office upstairs, but the floor and the baseboard molding is still original to 1927. There was where the stall went through the floor. One time the stall's been removed, one of the tile guys took some of the pieces, the rough pieces, from the corner where we put a new sink base in a vintage sink base that was gonna cover up the floor, used those extra pieces to fit in and then redid the bad spots where they had broken tiles and things. But it's original. It's an old basket weave design and I use that in the design process to take visual cues from that, because our new bathrooms also have a marble basket weave design to kind of mimic that. That's just a little bit different color.

Speaker 1:

So took some of those design elements.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and then we had that's really the only original pieces in there of an instructor Fantastic.

Speaker 1:

So where are you at now as far as the type of shows that you're bringing in and what's going on at the theater now?

Speaker 2:

Okay. So we obviously opening in December of 2020, we were due to open in June of 2020. We were still on track to do to show movies. And our third partner, bruce Young, when we brought him in early he had a connection to doing concerts. So when I reworked the business plan, we were trying to work in maybe having a concert once a month and trying to work that into our movie schedule. And then of course, everything shut down for COVID and then so our progression of moving forward slowed way down for what work could be done inside the theater at that time. So we knew we weren't gonna be able to open in June and obviously there's a lot of businesses closed. Then all the movie theaters around started closing and going bankrupt because that's their bread and butter. I mean, you have to. You have all these leases that you have to cover and all this. So then so we're trying to decide if we're gonna be able to show movies, if this is gonna be a viable business anymore. So we kind of did a 180 and opted to move toward doing concerts. We'd still show movies as part of our business plan, but the main thing we would do is concerts. So we put off getting our projector, we opted to get a sound board and speakers and stuff set up for concerts, and so that's when and that's how we opened. And so when my brother was operating it from day one actually first full year we were open. It was the six of us it was my brother and I and Bruce and it was our wives. It was the six of us. We were the only employees. We were running it fully, you know, concerts. And then in October and that would have been through 2021. And we did start showing movies October 2021, we worked together with Shawnee Town 29 to show the original Bella, Legosi, Dracula. When we showed that that would have been the first movie shown in there almost 50 years, so we had two sold out viewings of that and to this day we still worked together with Shawnee Town 29 for our October showings. There are always horror movies from, you know, like the 30s. And then we always also do movies in between, so we'll have a few movies each quarter, but most of what we're doing now is the live concerts, which are mostly cover bands and tribute bands, almost exclusively to the area, to the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, and it kind of stretches up into Nebraska and Iowa. There's a lot of bands around in these areas. So, like you mentioned, eddie Thieves was in just a couple of weeks ago and they'll be back. We have almost Kiss KCDC Sticks Group. We've got a Steve Miller tribute. There's just a lot of.

Speaker 1:

Oh, how fun.

Speaker 2:

Coming back and forth and the M80s and different versions of their groups they all come in to and play and we've got 200 seats and that's been very good to us. We're not big enough to bring in like a high-end act, but we're just about the right size to make it kind of what we like to think of as an intimate experience. So it's not just about. We carry the idea of what we wanted for the community for movies into the concert things so that we could still share concerts, still have movies. But it's all about the experience and that was our main goal is just and I'll tell you what really ingrained it in my head Mayor Dissler, very early on, asked Chris and I why people would go see a movie when they can sit at home and watch it on their laptop or their big screen like a vintage movie and why would they come back. And it was a very poignant question because it made us really think about what we wanted to do and if this would really work. And in our heads, the more we worked on it, we knew it would, but we really had to answer that question. So we want to do this for the community, we want them to come back, we want them to be a part of it. But one early on, when we were doing some sound testing, we had our screen, we had our projector, we'd been, we'd shown a few concerts but we needed to get the sound kind of honed in in the theater and my wife and I went in one night, put a movie in and then we sat in different places in the theater to make sure that it sounded right. And while we were doing it, we're both big in Fleming, James Bond fans, so I put in one of the newer ones I put in Cassini Royale and we used it as a sound test because with a Bond movie you have low and quiet dialogue but you also have these action-adventure explosions and a lot of loud stuff. So you want to make sure that you have a good crossover. So we're in here in the theater and we're just switching chairs, we're moving around every couple of minutes and my wife has to kind of nudge me every once in a while and say something because I just totally getting grossed in the movie. I'm supposed to be testing sound and I'm like watching the movie and it really hit home, I really understood. I'm like, yeah, this is different than watching a movie in my house or in my car or something like that, Wherever else you could do it, because it's the experience of it.

Speaker 1:

And it is. That's what I was about to say, is what jumped out to me when you said the question that he asked. I thought, no, it's the experience. It's like the Rocky Horror Picture Show when I was a kid. I mean just that atmosphere, and years later I watched it at home on my computer and it was nowhere near the same.

Speaker 2:

No, we're near, that's right and that is one of that one, specifically Rocky Horror Picture, which we have not done, and we have a lot of people that really want us to do it and logistically we were trying to figure out a way to do it and I'm pretty sure within the next year we're probably going to be able to do that one, because it is that would be fun. It is that one is very much an experience thing.

Speaker 1:

And there's other movies like that.

Speaker 2:

You know you can have film festivals where you show a bunch of westerns or sci-fi movies. Oh yeah, you know you can show multiple ones and everything. And I'm working with a gentleman he's actually based out of Germany that wants to do like movie festival type things. So, more so than what we love and enjoy doing with Shawnee Town 29, with historic movies, we want to do these other things with movies too. So it's really kind of an evolving process as we go through it. But our biggest thing is we always want to be the part of the community and make sure that it's all about the experience and not just about getting in and out.

Speaker 1:

Right, Well, kudos to you that you opened during probably the most challenging year. A theater probably could and we're able to, you know regroup and switch gears and move forward with it, and I'm just so happy for you and I'm happy that we have that historic place venue to experience these things. And, if we could, before we finish up, I want to talk a little bit about Shawnee in general. Can you recommend you know somebody's visiting Shawnee what are some places that are really part of this whole revitalization that's going on there as far as you know? Maybe some gyms kind of thing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Well, and it's funny too, because when we first brought the idea forward and we were going to be able to move forward with it, we kind of hoped that it would be the spark, you know, kind of bring in some other businesses and things, really relying heavily on the others, and it kind of was. We knew that there was at least one brewery that was thinking about moving to downtown Shawnee and that came about. That was Transport Brewery, who's down there now and has a very well-established business right next door to us. So we have a good bond with them. But everything grew from there, some more things down there, and I kind of feel like everything is almost a hidden gem. You know what I mean. Like everything fits just right and that was a. The credit for that really goes to the city and the Chamber of Commerce. They just they really had a good vision so that they knew once we were in all these other businesses that were kind of surround and it's built. So you know, once you get two or three, then everybody wants to come down there.

Speaker 1:

So the theater, though, was the impetus for these changes.

Speaker 2:

In this I'd like to think it was. I mean, that seems a little egotistical to say well, we did it just so everybody's. But that was what we had hoped for. We had hoped because, we'd seen the study and said, hey, open this and do that. And I've done research since then and it is. You know, obviously you can't just go to any downtown area and go open up a theater and it'll bring people. Well, it kind of has to have some history and some community and this one did so. We were very fortunate that it was but for Hidden Gems. I consider everything down there and I love all the people, I love all the businesses. So we've got like I did. I mentioned transport Brewery is down there. Service Brewery is also another craft beer brewery down there, down in downtown Shawnee. Drastic Measures, which is a Speak Easy, wild Child, which is a new wine bar and low ABV type kind of a cool vibe. And then we went down in downtown Shawnee just opened a couple of months ago. Friction Beer just opened a few months ago. We've got Anador's chocolates. We have the Gelato Shop, a couple of restaurants obviously. Clane's Market opened up down there in the old okay, garage area district. Poor house just moved in a few months ago. That restaurant started up and there were some establishments like Betty C's, which is the bar and grill right on the other side of us from Transport. That had an established clientele, brian the manager over there, just an amazing, amazing person. He has really grown his clientele as well, so that business is flourishing as well the bar and grill, and there are some new ones coming in down there. We also have the Shop Over there which is Shenanigans, which doesn't it doesn't seem when you talk about downtown Shawnee doesn't seem to get in our realm much press, because they were actually there before us.

Speaker 1:

And what type of stuff is it.

Speaker 2:

So it's a. They have kind of a niche, kind of a it's a thrift shop feel with new stuff. They were up on Shawnee and Shenanigans Parkway and moved to downtown. Shawnee years ago and they really have a cool business over there and they really bring in a lot of people. So you know, as much as I like to say, we were, like you said, we were kind of the impetus to bring in these other businesses. They were kind of established and we're doing quite well and always do well A lot of people coming downtown just for them. So that also was a big, big push as well. Now, that was before us. But all these things work together very well and there are some new ones coming in. There's still some open spaces. The other one I'm excited for there is a couple that I believe is opening up a French restaurant downtown Shawnee. So anytime you have the restaurant so and you don't go too far, even from downtown, and you can go up the street to like wandering vine and they have a cool atmosphere for their, for that restaurant and there's just, even though they're a little separated from us in the downtown area, it still brings people in far and wide, so so that helps as well too. So I just I think everything downtown is kind of a hidden gem, you know it's like oh yeah, I'd heard about it but I hadn't been down there. And then you can tell when people come down. They come down to see their friends at drastic measures or go to shenanigans, or go to service and they do that, they go.

Speaker 1:

Wow, I had no idea and yeah, I've been at Shawnee for 15 years and I now I'm jealous. I'm looking forward to visiting again. So, Jeff, thank you so much and I'm really just thrilled with all you've got going on with Aztec Theater and downtown Shawnee and everything that's going on, so thank you so much for being here and sharing your story.

Speaker 2:

Well, thank you for having me.

Revitalizing the Aztec Theater
Renovating a Historic Theater for Events
Movies and Concerts
Revitalization and Hidden Gems in Shawnee
Downtown Shawnee's Businesses and Hidden Gems