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Sale of Pasadena Playhouse to Developer OKd


A Los Angeles Bankruptcy Court judge on Wednesday approved the sale of the historic Pasadena Playhouse complex to a Burbank-based real estate developer.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Thomas B. Donovan approved the plan for owner Pasadena Playhouse Associates to sell the Spanish colonial revival-style property to the Greg Varon Family Trust for an estimated $4.5 million. Pasadena Playhouse Associates is operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and the court had to review and approve the deal before it could go forward.

Greg Varon, who heads the trust, said the sale is scheduled to be completed by Nov. 30. Developer David Houk, who controls Pasadena Playhouse Associates, could not be reached for comment.

The sale does not include the main auditorium, where the nonprofit Pasadena Playhouse State Theatre will continue to stage productions.

The theater company subleases the auditorium, backstage and other portions of the complex on El Molino Avenue from the city of Pasadena, which holds a long-term lease on those spaces.

Los Angeles Times Sunday November 11, 2001 Home Edition Part A Part A Page 2 A2 Desk 2 inches; 56 words Type of Material: Correction
Pasadena Playhouse--A story in Thursday's Business section about a bankruptcy court approving the sale of the Pasadena Playhouse incorrectly stated that the complex's main auditorium is excluded from the transaction. The auditorium is included in the sale, but it and other parts of the property are leased to the city of Pasadena, which in turn subleases it to the Pasadena Playhouse State Theatre.

Varon said he plans to renovate a tower located at the back of the complex into 17 loft-style apartments. He also is negotiating with potential tenants to lease a vacant, first-floor restaurant space.

Once the sale is finalized, Houk has 90 days to complete his plan to lease back a small, upstairs theater. Houk has been involved with the complex since the late 1970s, when he stepped in to renovate and reopen the facility.

The Pasadena Playhouse State Theatre has been staging plays in the main auditorium for several years after Houk's production company ran into financial problems in the early 1990s.

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