Bonham Theatre Project Groundbreaking Ceremony

13522918_590604307766619_2119813693006121319_oThank you all who attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the Bonham Theatre Project on June 27, 2016. The BTP board has volunteered thousands of hours to reopen the Bonham Theatre; we are doing everything in our power to be successful. We thank the many persons who have supported the project by volunteering, by donating, and by being positive advocates for our work. We ask everyone to consider joining the effort!


Here is an update on the project as of May 31, 2016:

    • Net income Oct. 2012-May 2016/funds available to complete Phase 1:
      • Donations (individuals and businesses) $353,029
      • Grants (awarded and received) 81,956
      • Net fundraising activities 29,983
      • Memberships ($25 annual dues) 5,675
      • Miscellaneous (Coop pat. div., sale of scrap) 754

Total income $471,397

    • Purchase of building and equipment 24,734
      • Architect 88,161
      • Construction Manager 5,000
      • Project Manager 36,250
      • Business plan and market survey 6,198
      • IRS 501(c)(3) determination 850
      • Utilities 5,419
      • Insurance 1,129
      • RE taxes 1,932
      • Other (office supplies, postage, fees, dues, adv., maint.) 6,933

Total expenses $176,606Cash on hand at May 31, 2016 $294,791 Grants (awarded and outstanding) 336,000
Total available to complete Phase 1 $630,791

    • Estimated cost to complete Phase 1:
      • Estimated building renovation and marquee $573,043
      • Architect & Engineering 23,360
      • Project Manager 28,750

      Estimated cost to complete Phase 1 $625,153
      As construction contracts are awarded, the board is prepared to make adjustments, if needed, to contain the costs to available funds.

      When bids were let in June 2015 the total estimated cost for the renovation was $905,554. We are able to lower the total estimated costs substantially by acting as our own general contractor and by hiring a project manager to review the project with a contractor’s eye, thus eliminating over-engineered costs and duplications.

    • Estimated total cost of Phase 1:
      • Estimated building renovation and marquee $573,043
      • Architect & Engineering $23,360 payable) 111,521
      • Construction Manager 5,000
      • Project Manager ($36,250 paid, $28,750 payable) 65,000

      Estimated total cost of Phase 1 $754,564

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    • Grants awarded to BTP and received by May 31, 2016 (included in net income):
      • The Sherwood Foundation (marketing survey) $ 3,706
      • The Sherwood Foundation (renovation) 50,000
      • Norris Goodwill Fund (popcorn machine) 1,500
      • Walmart 1,750
      • TransCanada 25,000

      Total grants received $ 81,956

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  • Grants awarded to BTP and receivable as of May 31, 2016:
    • Fairbury Downtown Design Challenge $ 6,000
    • UP Foundation 20,000
    • NE Dept. of Economic Development (CDBG) 210,000
    • Peter Kiewit Foundation 100,000

    Total grants receivable $336,000

Formal recognition of all donors will be published at a later date. All donors will be acknowledged on our recognition wall or a seat nameplate.The numbers above only apply to reopening the street level auditorium for movies, without seats. Nor do they include the cost of a retractable screen for live performances or reopening the upstairs theatre. Future fundraising will address those phases of the project.

BTP still needs the community’s help in raising funds to update the theatre seats in the main auditorium; thus, a “Chair-ity” campaign is in progress. For a contribution of $250 the donor’s name will be permanently attached to a seat. In addition, we are calling all artists (professional and amateur) to pick up an old seat and reinvent it (creativity encouraged).

The seats will be on display for the September First Friday Art Walk. Ultimately, the seats will be auctioned to supplement the “Chair-ity” campaign.

I welcome the opportunity to discuss the project with anyone. I can be reached at 402-446-7436, 402-300-7146 or


Deborah Ebke
Treasurer BTP