Madison Square Garden Entertainment buying Chicago Theatre

posted by HowardBHaas on October 12, 2007 at 11:00 am

CHICAGO, IL — Madison Square Garden Entertainment (which operates Radio City Music Hall) is buying the Chicago Theatre, the 3600 seat former movie palace. Madison Square Garden is owned by Cablevision (which also owns Clearview Cinemas including the Ziegfeld).

“Madison Square Garden has agreed in principle to purchase the Chicago Theatre,” said a statement from a spokesman for Madison Square Garden Entertainment. “However, there remain several additional details that must be worked out before the purchase can be finalized. We look forward to completing the transaction as quickly as possible and will comment further at the appropriate time.”

The 3,600-seat Chicago Theatre—known far and wide for its long history of live entertainment and its famed marquee—is currently owned by Theatre Dreams Chicago, LLC, which bought the theater from the City of Chicago for $3 million in 2003. Prior to that sale, the City of Chicago had written off more than $21 million in publicly funded renovation costs at the long-troubled venue (the theater had reverted to city ownership following a previous owner’s default).

From the October 10, 2007 Chicago Tribune

Thanks to Katie Mac for passing on the news as well.

Theaters in this post

Comments (2)

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on October 15, 2007 at 11:03 am

Is MSGE actually buying the Chicago Theatre or just the operating lease? There is a BIG difference in values. Cablevision is often erroneously reported as owning Radio City Music Hall, but all it owns is the lease to operate it. The theatre itself is owned by the Rockefeller Center corporation.

HowardBHaasEsq
HowardBHaasEsq on October 15, 2007 at 2:39 pm

Warren,the article says the sale isn’t finalized yet, so I guess it could fall apart. It does appear to be a sale rather than a lease.

As to Radio City, that must be a long term lease since Cablevision spent tons of millions of dollars there to restore it.

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