Fine Arts Theater

11119 Johnson Drive,
Shawnee, KS 66203

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Fine Arts Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This theater was designed by the Boller Brothers firm of Kansas City and was built by Marion Summerour, third mayor of Shawnee. It opened on Labor Day in 1927 as the Mission Theater.

In the 1940’s under Dickinson Theatres, the name was changed to the Aztec Theater. The Aztec Theater operated under this name into the 1970’s, when it was purchsed by the Pflumm family and the named was changed to Fine Arts Theater. It was closed for renovations in 1974, but never reopened. After closing it was used as bank storage.

By 2005, the theater was being renovated by the Fine Arts Group to replace their previous Fine Arts Theater (now the Dickinson Top Two) a few miles away in Mission, KS. However, the Fine Arts Theatre has still not opened and its current status is not known.

Contributed by Clay Jarratt, Diana Gruver

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

claydoh77
claydoh77 on March 15, 2005 at 2:19 pm

According to a March 10, 2005 Kansas City Star article this theatre is scheduled to open in late summer or early fall.

The article’s main subject was two other theatres owned by the fine arts group; Rio (Overland Park, KS) and Granada (Kansas City, KS) which were added to the National Register of Historic Places in February 2005.

WadeWilliams
WadeWilliams on March 2, 2007 at 11:51 pm

Clay- What listing had the Mission or Aztec designed or remodelled by the Bowler Bros ? We would certainly like to verify this as the owner of the theatre.

claydoh77
claydoh77 on March 4, 2007 at 10:31 am

It was listed on http://members.aol.com/screenviews/theatres.html with the following info:
Name: Mission
Additional Names: Aztec (1940s)/Fine Arts (after current renovation)
Location: 11119 Johnson Dr., Shawnee, KS
Opened: 1927
Ownership: Dickinson (1940s)/Fine Arts Theatre Group
Current Status: Closed as movie house in 1975, then used for bank storage. Currently under renovation to replace the Fine Arts Theatre.
Other Info: Built by Marion Summerour, the third mayor of Shawnee. Designed by Boller Bros. architects.

Looking back I do not see it on a list I have of Boller theatres so I can’t guarantee where the owner of that site got their info. I would love to see this theatre open, it is just blocks from my home.

RobbKCity
RobbKCity on August 22, 2007 at 1:19 am

If the theater was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a architectural survey was done to verify the architect, engineering firm, and even construction company. If the listing information includes the Bollers as architect of record, then they designed it.

bigdreams913
bigdreams913 on January 16, 2010 at 4:10 pm

i’m really interested in buying this place and reopening it!… does anybody know the asking price?!

RoadsideArchitecture.com
RoadsideArchitecture.com on January 29, 2011 at 5:10 pm

I’m told that this marquee came from the Plaza Theatre in Abilene, KS before it was destroyed. They sure look alike:
View link

My photo from July 2010 of the Fine Arts marquee:
http://agilitynut.com/10/9/finearts2.jpg

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 22, 2013 at 4:32 pm

The September 4, 2012, edition of the Shawnee Dispatch ran this fairly long article about the delay in getting the Fine Arts Theatre open. There have been conflicts over the city’s building permit requirements, and the owner of the building said that he was ready to abandon the project and sell the building for the $240,000 he had invested in it. I haven’t found anything more recent about the project, so I guess we can assume that it is still stalled.

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