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A "for sale" sign soon will be in front of the Majestic Theatre.
A couple months after the iconic Streator movie house made the conversion to digital projection, building owner Tim Burke asked Katie Troccoli and her husband James, who run the theater, to pay him $248,000 or leave.
Troccoli is not planning on leaving, she said. An offer from her, however, was rejected by Burke, and the building owner has listed the 119 N. Vermillion St. theater with Century 21 of Ottawa for $267,000, including the two digital projectors.
The theater's web site has a message that appears to be from Katie Troccoli, explaining her side of the situation:
It took us almost two year to raise the funds to convert the Majestic Theatre to digital projection. We did a very public effort with every kind of event imaginable. Once we achieved the goal, we were so happy because we could get movies again. The sound, light, and picture is amazing!
But our happiness was not to last. When I informed my partner Tim Burke, about the gift his words cut me like a knife. He said “I did not think you would last this long. I have been waiting for you to quit so I could shutter the place. I didn't think you could raise the money”.
It was about 24 hours from the time the news hit the press that my business partner and the owner of the building, Tim Burke, began screaming and yelling at me. He told me to get out of the building and take those (bad word) digital projectors with me.
I consulted my attorney. I consulted the City of Streator officials. Both told me not to leave the building.
During the first week of August, my business partner Tim Burke came from Los Angeles to Streator. His demands are high. He wants me to give him $120,000. in cash and assume his current mortgage of $128,000. (which is not assumable per the bank). I was told ”Katie, just get me the money and we can be friends” Get him a $10,000. non refundable cash deposit and to close by the end of September”.
While he was here he moved a lot of equipment out of the building. He said a lot of nasty degrading things to me.
I am committed to saving the Majestic. I am committed to the community of Streator IL having a movie theatre.
I have been working with a lender to secure financing. These things take time. They will not lend me more then the appraised value of the building. I made Tim Burke through my attorney a very fair offer. The way he responded was to list the building for sale (including the digital projectors that do not belong to him) with Century 21 out of Ottawa IL. His price is $267,000.
There is evil and greed in this world. I have seen it first hand. The stress is about killing me. Now you know the truth and my story about trying to save the Majestic theatre in Streator IL.
Any help anyone can give me is truly appreciated. Thoughts, prayers, legal advise, money. I am not asking for a hand out. I will work out terms with a person willing to help.
Thank you. Katie Troccoli
(Disclosure I am a licensed managing broker at Washington Square Realtors in Ottawa IL)
Even though the web site continues to have showtimes listed, and we have received showtimes for the rest of this week, a posting made 11 hours ago to a fundraising page for the theater shows that the theater has been boarded up, which would imply that no movies are being shown. The theater's Facebook page does not mention any of this, but someone did post a message there that said that they went past the theater today and it was boarded up.
Moviegoers in the area will need to the visit the Roxy Cinemas in Ottawa, about twelve miles away.
Photo above is courtesy Majestic Theatre
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