Burns, Weitzenhoffer nab iconic tuner venue
Andrew Lloyd Webber has sold London’s 1,379-seat Palace Theater to Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer of Nimax Theaters.Currently home to the hit Stage Entertainment production of “Singin’ in the Rain,” the Palace is one of London’s most sought-after tuner houses due to its size and prime location at the top of Shaftesbury Avenue. Burns and Weitzenhoffer’s purchase gives the group its first tuner-sized house. It also owns five playhouses: the Lyric (924 seats), the Apollo (775), the Garrick (718) and Duchess (476) — all bought from Lloyd Webber in September 2005 — plus the Vaudeville (690). The Palace, which hosted the almost eight-year London run of “Jesus Christ Superstar” beginning in August 1972, was bought by Lloyd Webber in 1983. Lloyd Webber said: “The proceeds of the sale will be used to repay debt and to strengthen the balance sheet of Really Useful Theaters. This will allow me to plan the future of the Theater Royal Drury Lane and continue work on refurbishing the London Palladium.” In addition to those two venues, Really Useful Theaters owns Her Majesty’s (“The Phantom of the Opera”), the New London (“War Horse”) and the Cambridge (“Matilda — The Musical”). It co-owns the Adelphi with Nederlander Intl. A previous deal to sell the Palace, New London, Cambridge and Her Majesty’s to a consortium headed by Michael Grade and Michael Linnit fell through in December 2010.