Anderson buys historic theater after failed renovations

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A central Indiana city is now the owner of a historic theater that several groups had tried to renovate and reopen over the years.

The city of Anderson’s warranty deed for the State Theatre was finalized Monday after the city purchased it for $127,500 from a California-based company.

Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. said the price was reasonable and the theater could be tied into redevelopment efforts in the city.

He told The Herald Bulletin the city hopes to find someone interested in leasing or buying the property, calling it “a unique building.”

The theater opened in 1930 and closed in 2008. It was damaged by a water leak in the 1990s that led to a lawsuit against the city.

Brent Doster, co-owner of MadCo Entertainment, LLC., an Anderson-based entertainment company, and his partner, Branden Holder, had hoped to reopen the theater at 1303 Meridian St. as an event center after they signed a lease-to-own agreement in 2017.

Doster said in April 2018 that $35,000 in renovations were made in 2017, but work was halted late that year until heating-and-cooling system issues were  addressed.

Originally opened in 1930, the State Theatre has had various individuals and organizations seeking to restore it since its closure in 2008. Doster and Holder had hoped to preserve historical aspects of the building while bringing people to the downtown area with comedians, events and musicians.

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