The owner of the Avalon Theater in Bay View bought the and theaters at a sheriff's foreclosure sale Monday morning, an attorney for the mortgage holder said.
Lee Barczak, president of Morgan Kenwood Advisors and owner of the Avalon, was the successful bidder, said Russell "Rusty" Long, who had represented Anchor Bank and Siegel-Gallagher, the property management company responsibile for the two theaters.
Long said it was a "shocking surprise" to him that there was a successful bidder other than Anchor. Long had said earlier that he believed there was only the most remote possibility that anyone other than Anchor would purchase the movie houses.
Barczak was "the successful bidder for both," Long said, offering to pay $275,000 for the Rosebud and $265,000 for the Times.
Long said that there would be a hearing for confirmation of the sale on June 11, and that Barczak would have 10 days from that date to come up with the proceeds of the sale.
"Then he can pick up the deed," Long said.
Long said that the bid effectively takes Anchor Bank and Siegel-Gallagher out of the picture, assuming the sale to Barczak closes as expected.
Long said there was still a possibility that the confirmation of the sale could be held up if former owner David Glazer were to file for bankruptcy.
"But I don't think he will," Long said. "Then again, I didn't think there would be a different bidder winning this sale."
The sale should also open the way for the theaters to reopen sometime this year, perhaps yet this summer.
Barczak has had his troubles reopening the Avalon, though, after struggling for years to turn the property back into an operating movie theater.
Barczak could not be reached for comment.
Ald. Pete Donegan of the 1st District, home to the Rosebud, said he was "encouraged and gratified that there was interest in the building and competition for it."
"It's also encouraging that the buyer is someone who already owns a theater."
Bobby Pantuso, alderman in the 5th District just across North Avenue from the Rosebud, said he was pleased there was a buyer with such a strong interest in the property.
"We welcome Mr. Barczak to fabulous East Tosa," he said. "I hope he can get the Rosebud open again as soon as possible. I am ready to assist in any way needed from the city's point of view.
The Rosebud is at 6823 W. North Ave. The Times is at 5906 W. Vliet St. in Milwaukee.