About a year and a half later, in November of 2015, Wheeler reopened Agawam Cinemas.The project required the support of dozens of people through a crowdfunding campaign, as well as 0,000 of work on the structure itself, much of which came from the landlord.The credits were about to roll after decades of entertaining the local community, but Agawam resident Kimberly Wheeler had other plans.
More than three years later, the movie theater remains open and is once again a popular destination in the community.
Through Wheeler's unconventional journey, she's learned how to run a business and the adversity you face when trying to reopen a closed business.
On the other hand, there are potential drawbacks of crowdfunding.
Letting so many people put money behind an idea can create tension.
A week before its closing, the building was condemned.
Wheeler explained how the final five years before the theater's closing were rough.
"Even though it was falling apart on the inside, everybody still loved it," Wheeler said.
If you decide to take a similar path to Wheeler, find a business that has community support. I'm never going to get rich doing it; I found that out right when we started.
For example, Wheeler's backers became frustrated when the construction took much longer than anticipated.
Wheeler originally expected the theater to open about a year before it did.