CHICAGO (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Live Nation has entered into negotiations with city officials with an eye towards acquiring the historic Uptown Theater.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the promoter has expressed an interest in restoring the 82-year-old theater, which has been little used in the last 25 years, a project that by some estimates would carry a $40 dollar price tag.
The deal is not fait accompli however and there are significant hurdles that yet remain. The most significant is the poor state of the building and the 1 million dollar lien against the theatre that was incurred when the city was forced to conduct emergency repairs on the structure.
There are also two existing mortgages on the building, with the notes held by two different entities, and ownership has been a source of litigation. One mortgage is held by Equibase Capital Group, which has been sued by Jam Productions and Joseph Freed & Associated, the holders of the second mortgage, who contend that Equibase has unlawfully refused their offers to pay off the first note.
Originally opened in 1925, the theatre was billed as "An Acre of Seats in a Magic City" and originally played host to elaborate stage productions and live orchestration that would accompany motion pictures. The theatre continued to serve a movie theatre, eventually dropping the stage shows and orchestra as cost saving measures until the late 1960s, when the theatre's size and changing demographics in the Uptown neighborhood made it fiscally unviable. The theatre experienced a revival in the 1970s as a concert venue until a burst pipe in 1981 caused sufficient damage to result in an extended period of disuse.
Since then, the theatre has served as a location for filming and charity events. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers