Orpheum faces foreclosure auction; Owners say no sale
Foreclosure posting is over $10K debt from previous owners
MADISON, Wis. — A county foreclosure posting lists the historic Orpheum Theater will be going up for auction in just under a month.
It has to do with liens of thousands of dollars against the property, but the owners told News 3 the property won’t go to sale.
The Paras family bought the Orpheum last fall and it has been working on renovations, including new paint, lighting, marquee and air conditioning system.
“The building needs a lot of work, and it’s been neglected for a long time. We’re trying to figure out what’s most important to work on first,” said Eve Paras, executive director of Orpheum Management, LLC.
But an auction might interrupt the work. A county foreclosure posting states 216 State Street, the Orpheum Theater, will be auctioned off April 8 by the sheriff’s department over a $10,000 debt from the previous owners related to a new curtain for the stage.
News 3 has learned that lien, and another outstanding one for $45,000 for fire repairs, was purchased by Frank Productions, which puts on shows at the Orpheum.
Owner Fred Frank said he bought the debt in July of last year hoping to purchase the theater himself in the last expected auction. But the Paras family bought it privately before the auction, and now Frank said he just wants to get paid.
“It’s nothing that can get taken care of right away after you purchase the building,” Paras said. “It takes a while, and we are paying all of them. We’re still doing some negotiating with some of them and that’s why they’re still there.”
The Paras family said it has the money to pay the liens and will do so before the auction.
“I can guarantee we are taking care of all the liens and the building will not go to sale,” Eve Paras said.
Frank said while other lien holders, including the city and MG&E, have been paid, he has not, and he’s not sure why. He said the Paras family was served legal notice of the lien March 1.
Paras said Frank may be pushing the issue to try to buy the Orpheum himself.
Frank said he would like to have owned the building, but called this issue “business, not personal.”