State Theatre auction is postponed

The auction for the foreclosure of the State Theatre set for Wednesday was postponed. According to Paul S. (Chip) Bliley Jr., attorney for law firm Williams Mullen, the auction was cancelled late Tuesday.

“Per our discussion the foreclosure sale scheduled for Wednesday will be cancelled,” Bliley said. “I will appear at the courthouse on Wednesday and advise anyone there the sale is being postponed. In all likelihood it will be rescheduled in 45 days.”

The State Theatre has been shuttered for almost a year, and investors were attempting to collect on the debt they were owed.

Investors from Rappahannock County, identified only as Melbell, LLC., and another unnamed couple were looking to recoup $5 million they invested in the 500-seat theatre.

According to Paige Read, Culpeper’s Director of Tourism, delays in auctions such as these are common.

“We can confirm the State Theatre auction is postponed,” Read said Tuesday morning.

She said the State Theatre Foundation and the town are still trying to find ways to move the project forward. Until it closed Sept. 14, 2016, the theatre was led by a volunteer board of directors headed by Jerry Whitlock (chair), Joseph Wills (vice chair), Gary Lee (treasurer), Elizabeth Hutchins (secretary), Alex Forte, Chris Hamilton, Don Haight, Mike Hudson, Octavia Yates, and Joe Grills (board advisor).

Reached by phone Tuesday, Hutchins had no comment, as did Whitlock, both advising to speak to Read.

Read said that either an alternative date will be revealed or a firm announcement will be made within 45 days.

Bliley said that he hopes to meet people who are interested in the property and will take their information for future reference.

The Rappahannock News reported last week that a Chicago-based historic theatre property consultant was interested in potentially trying to “save the place.”

“At this point it’s as likely to be rescheduled as it is to be resolved,” Bliley said.

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