UPDATE: The auction is postponed until at least Dec. 10.
But here’s the story:
Anyone have more information on the Bucks County Playhouse possibly heading for the auction block?
The story, which you can read in full by clicking on the link above, comes from the Bucks Local News:
A group of concerned citizens and civic leaders has been formed and has held meetings with additional parties in an attempt to secure ownership of the Bucks County Playhouse and ensure that it remains an artistic asset to the community, according to several individuals familiar with the situation who asked to remain anonymous due to the delicacy of the negotiations.
Ralph A. Miller, owner of New Hope’s famed Bucks County Playhouse, is having apparent difficulty making debt payments, and barring any last minute financial or legal efforts, the theater will be auctioned off at a sheriff sale in Doylestown on Nov. 12, confirmed county officials and court records.
In doing some research, I came across this investigative article from late 2009 — you’ll notice that the tone of it is distinctly and unmistakably expose — in the Cape Cod Times:
Over the past quarter century, Miller – former owner of the Falmouth Playhouse – has had a series of run-ins with insurance companies, which have accused him of everything from fraud to arson. He has met their resistance to pay with a litany of lawsuits, claiming his properties have been damaged by fire and rain, lightning and animals.
“I’ve owned 70 properties in my life,” Miller said. “Things happen.”
Things happen to Miller at an alarming rate.
Then again, it does seem like everything that’s new is actually old again.
Here, from the Morning Call, is an article from 1989 (yes, you read that date correctly):
The Bucks County Playhouse, which has helped launch the careers of such stars as Paul Newman and Robert Redford, is for sale for $4 million by owner Ralph A. Miller III.
In addition, Miller has also listed his Pocono Playhouse in Mountainhome for sale at $1.2 million and, according to real estate associate Georgette Bannan, the Hatboro entrepreneur intends to list a third theater, the Falmouth Theater in Massachusetts, at an asking price of $5 million.
Readers, there should only be this much theatricality, this much drama, on the stage of the Bucks County Playhouse itself. Doesn’t seem like too far-fetched a wish to me.
Let the record also show that the Bucks County Playhouse is officially the State Theatre of Pennsylvania, sporting a exceptionally storied, well-documented history. The tale of how Moss Hart got involved in saving and renovating the house is an example of the best instincts and most decent impulses of the professionals of the American theater.
Let us hope that history doesn’t go up on the auction block before Nov. 12. Brother, can you spare a buck?
Actually, $2 million, it seems.