KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The marquee was taken from the old Isis theater. The arcade games are classics. Some of the doors are from an old movie theater in Liberty.
The Screenland Crossroads is no-doubt rooted in Kansas City.
“We are part of a greater group of people that sort of made the Crossroads what it is,” said founder Butch Rigby.
The theater opened nine years ago, one of the pioneers in rejuvinating the Crossroads district.
“My goal was to double the previous owner’s gross revenues, and I managed to do that in the last couple months,” said owner/operator, Jason Chaffee.
The company that reportedly bought the building about a year and a half ago, increased the rent from about $3,700 to about $9,300 , according to Chaffee and Rigby.
“I don’t really blame them for having to take the position on the lease renewal that they inherited that they’re going to need more revenue out of the building. They have that obligation,” said Rigby.
“We could make it work, I just wouldn’t make a living, and I’ve got a wife, kid, a mortgage, you know- the whole works,” explained Chaffee.
Chaffee and Rigby decided the best course would be to close up and look for a new home. They’re already writing a new script, preparing for a new premiere with a plot rooted in Kansas City history.
There will be a party on May 16 with a live auction and a $10 donation for a cover charge, the proceeds will go to Cinema KC. There will also be a goodbye bash for Screenland’s final night, which is May 17. Some of the proceeds will also go to Cinema KC. The theater will clear out starting May 18.