The TeePee Drive-In, a longtime staple of classic Sapulpa nostalgia and famed Route 66 attraction, has been sold.
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 Drive-In makes the latest in a series of purchases that Rogers-Kante has procured on historic Sapulpa buildings and landmarks. SeneGence International has offices on Main Street in Sapulpa, and Rogers-Kante also purchased three adjacent buildings on Dewey Avenue in downtown Sapulpa. One of those buildings has been renovated into an event center, while the other two are currently under construction. Rogers-Kante has reportedly also purchased a building on North Water Street and is rumored to be developing it into a boutique hotel.
Other buildings purchased by Rogers-Kante or The Kante Group include the Burnett Mansion, and the 116 E. Dewey Ave building, formerly an old Sapulpa City Hall building and before that a Southwestern Bell Telephone building.
Most recently, Joni Rogers-Kante had a hand in the creation of the new mural on Main Street near Dewey Avenue, which features several iconic structures including, of course, The TeePee Drive-In. “I thought a mural bursting with color would lift our community’s spirit during this challenging time, as well as reflect the features of life and history of our town,” Rogers-Kante had said.