The long-closed TeePee Drive-In theater west of Sapulpa, Oklahoma, recently landed new owners that seek to reopen it by summer.
The Sapulpa Times reported:
The Kante Group, part of the family of organizations by local entrepreneur and CEO of SeneGence International Joni Rogers-Kante, had purchased the property and officially closed on it on Thursday, sources say.
The drive-in, located west of Sapulpa on the original Ozark Trail section of old Route 66, is already showing signs of improvement, as tractors and excavators have already begun mowing the overgrown grass and clearing out debris from the property.
It’s unknown at this time exactly in what way the property will be used, but unnamed sources have told Sapulpa Times that they expect to have the theater operating again by the summer of 2021. Whether or not that will include other amenities or festivities is unclear. Representatives of Kante Group would only confirm that they had indeed purchased the property and “have plans to renovate it.”
The Times also reports the Kante Group has purchased several other historic buildings in Sapulpa, mostly downtown.
In 2012, a Florida-based operator attempted a lease-purchase agreement of the property with the intent to reopen it, and a bunch of volunteers pitched in to help clean up the property.
But he ditched the project after it was discovered he’d operated a series of failed or abandoned historic theaters across the country and used several aliases throughout. Also, there were liens against the property — keeping him from managing it.
Three years later, the property went up for sale for $275,000.
The TeePee was built in 1950. The last movie was shown there in 1999 or 2000.
(Hat tip to Allison Renee; an image of the TeePee Drive-In near Sapulpa, Oklahoma, in 2012 by JymPoiranges via Flickr)