Foreclosure may be looming for Redwood City’s Fox

posted by CSWalczak on October 14, 2009 at 10:53 am

REDWOOD CITY, CA — Current owners John Anagnostou and Mike Monte have borrowed millions and invested their personal passion since 1998 into acquiring and upgrading the Fox Theater in Redwood City, which opened in 1929 as the New Sequoia and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. But a combination of factors have resulted in their facing a mountain of debt and the very real possibility of foreclosure.

In interviews this week with The Daily News, Anagnostou described the numerous reasons he may have to surrender the keys to the theater he loves. Above all, he said, he and Monte have too much debt, much of it with high interest rates.

“The Fox is strapped with too much debt and we’ve always known it, and we’ve been trying to solve that with the right financial partner and we’ve been unable to,” Anagnostou said.

The owners are still working hard to find a way to hold onto the building at 2215 Broadway, though they don’t have a solution yet, Anagnostou said. He said restoring the Fox was worth the trouble and risk.

Read more in the San Jose Mercury News.

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Comments (1)

danpetitpas on October 14, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Wow! This newspaper article is a well-researched litany of what not to do when buying an old theater. Paid $2.4 million for the theater in 1998, spent money renovating it, borrowed another $4 million at 12.5% interest in 2007, now owes $10 million total.

Also a 20-screen multiplex opened half a block away that shows some indie movies, the city holds free concerts right in front of the theater, and there was seven years of downtown construction that kept people away from the area.

On the positive side, it does sound like the owners tried everything to attract audiences. They ran everything from Jewish film festivals to Mexican wrestling. Some of the reviews at Yelp complain about rowdy crowds and even rowdier security at concerts.

It just sounds like the potential grosses weren’t enough to handle a half-million dollar-a-year-plus debt payment in addition to the regular expenses of running an old theater.

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