Bank Forecloses on Suzanne Roberts Theatre


A bit of shocking news from South Broad Street. Just a couple of blocks and a couple of weeks away from the street’s biggest development in a while — the opening of Jose Garces’ jaw-droppingly expensive Volver inside the Kimmel Center — comes news that the bank is foreclosing on Suzanne Roberts Theatre, home to Philadelphia Theatre Company and the legacy of Suzanne Roberts, wife of Comcast founder Ralph Roberts.

Inquirer classical music critic Peter Dobrin broke the news this morning.

The Philadelphia Theatre Company is no longer making mortgage payments on its Suzanne Roberts Theatre building at Broad and Lombard Streets. The troupe stopped paying the mortgage in May 2012, theater leaders say… The theater had a balance on its mortgage of a little more than $11 million as of August 2012, according to its most recent tax return. Even without the burden of the mortgage payments, the theater – which had an annual budget of just under $5 million in 2012 – is struggling financially.

Read Dobrin’s entire account here.

The 365-seat theater opened inside the brutally ugly Symphony House in 2007, with about $8 million in combined aid from the state and city. The theater was the site of a contentious stagehands strike in 2013.

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  • doreenmcgettigan

    So sad but also makes me angry. How much tax payer money is wasted on yet another failed venture.
    It will be interesting to see who ends up with the property.

    • eli

      You are angry about how much tax payer money went to open the theater Before the economic collapse?
      Have you ever read the statistics about how much business is brought in to a city center when it builds cultural institutions? On a Friday night, at 10pm, Broad Street between South and Chestnut is packed; Packed with people who are only there because of the theaters. That is a lot of dinners, drinks, parking, train tickets, and general commerce. No theaters? NO ONE in center city at night. Does that make sense to you? So I think you can let that anger go now.

      • doreenmcgettigan

        I agree 100% about arts in the city. I am a supporter.
        It would be nice if it was a little safer, though.
        I am angry about the mismanagement of tax paper dollars and the lack of accountability for the losses.

  • matthew brandley

    People .Heres what people are discovering like my wife and many others. Its Way cheaper now to have well cooked meal at home and go out to our local community theater or as we have discovered recently the community college where we live which has a tremendous arts program. The cost is way cheaper , parking is free . No hassles

  • AnyOldHead

    Whenever Comcast is involved, however remotely, everything turns to &*$%.