Claim your name on a theatre seat today

bonham-seating-chart-012217Almost half of the available seats have been claimed.

Construction crews continue to make headway on renovations to the Bonham Theatre. Walls are being framed, plaster work is coming along and we’ve even started testing the video boards of the new marquee. Soon the auditorium will be ready for the new theatre seats. The renovated auditorium will boast 234 seats. Be sure to stake your claim with a $250 donation and one of those seats will bear your custom inscription.

Ready to stake your claim on a seat, click here to download the Chair-ity Campaign Form. To learn more about giving to the Bonham contact President Brooke at 402-587-0683 or Treasurer Debby at 402-300-7146.

Bonham Chair-ity Auction Winners Announced

The Chair-ity Auction for Bonham was held Friday, Nov. 18 at the Fairbury Elks Lodge. Over 120 people gathered together to bid on 18 uniquely designed theatre chairs and together raise over $3000. The auction began online and continued with a live auction featuring auctioneer Justin Schultis of Schultis and Son.

Bonham Chair-ity Auction Winners

Chair Title – Winning Bid – Winning Bidder

  • 1965 International – $625.00 – Brian Stewart
  • A Little Splash of Disney – $50.00 – Randy Bauer
  • Albuquerque – $55.00 – Paul Aden
  • Bonnie & Clyde – $300.00 – Gary LaBass
  • Deer Hunter – 430.00 – Jeff Holliday
  • Degas – $60.00 – Debby Ebke
  • Demask – $165.00 – Randy Bauer
  • Electrifying – $80.00 – Tim Linscott
  • For Doggies or Daddies – $60.00 – Jill Davis
  • Game Boy – $50.00 – Randy Bauer
  • Land & Water Collide – $170.00 – Trevor Gill
  • Marvel-ous Rocker – $255.00 – Hali Bielser
  • Night at the Movies – $50.00 – Randy Bauer
  • Regal Regina – $150.00 – Deb Weichel
  • Take a Seed – $50.00 – Teri Starr
  • The Good Life – $270.00 – Debby Ebke
  • Theatre of the Constitution – $50.00 – Randy Bauer
  • Wonderland – $300.00 – Natalie Julin-McCleary

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The board would like to thank Westin Packaged Meats, Union Bank, Pure Se’re’nite’ Spa, Husker Rehab, Maatsch’s, Walmart, Thrivent, First National Bank of Fairbury for their donations to this event. A special thank you to Jo Ann Beu and the Fairbury Elks Lodge for a wonderful venue.

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

    • =======

    • 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

    • =======

  • 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

Bonham Theatre Project Hires Construction Supervisor/Project Manager

Bonham Theatre Project has taken another step forward in reopening the downtown theater with the hiring of a construction supervisor/ project manager.  Fairbury native and alum Randy Fisbeck assumed this position last week.

Fisbeck will coordinate all work with the building’s architect and consultants, managing all volunteers and contractors on site during the Phase 1 work. This phase will include the renovation of the lobby, restrooms area and the main floor theatre. Fisbeck brings a total of 13 years of project management and general contracting building custom homes that range from 1,200 square-foot to 7,200 square-foot and light commercial projects, including a day care, office buildings, high-rise condos, and apartments.

“It’s an honor to have the opportunity to work on a project like the Bonham Theatre, especially in my hometown of Fairbury and I look forward to working with the great people who have put so much time and effort into the project already. The theatre truly is a staple of the community that I grew up in and I personally can’t wait for it to be operational again,” Fisbeck said.

Board President Brooke Schwab said the BTP Board is very excited about this appointment.

“We are looking forward to having an expert in construction as part of our team. We hope that not only will this help move the project forward but also help us get more bang for our buck. Randy has already started looking for way to help us save,” Schwab said.

BTP members continue to look for additional fundraising opportunities. The group will help with the 3rd Annual Blues Festival Jan. 23 at Stagecoach Mall with a portion of the proceeds going to BTP. Tickets can be purchased for $35 from any board member or a link to ticket sales can also be found on A number of talented blues bands and musicians will perform at the event. The ticket price includes a BBQ meal cooked by Totally Smoked BBQ and all entertainment costs.

BTP will hold its annual membership meeting on Sunday, Jan. 24 at the American Lutheran Church at 6 p.m. The public is invited to attend and current members are encouraged to come hear the annual review. Election of board members will also be conducted at the meeting.