Lease to Broadway's biggest theater sold

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Associated Press

Posted on May 20, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Updated Monday, May 20 at 7:03 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Britain's biggest theater group has reached across the Atlantic Ocean and bought the lease to Broadway's largest theater from Live Nation Entertainment for about $60 million.

Ambassador Theatre Group said Monday it has acquired rights to The Foxwoods Theatre, the 2,000-seat current home of "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark." The New 42nd Street, a nonprofit organization, approved the switch and remains the theater's landlord.

The acquisition makes the Foxwoods the 40th venue now owned by the Ambassador Theatre Group and likely will mean a renaming of the theater. The group, which owns several central London theaters including the Apollo Theatre and Lyceum Theatre, bought Live Nation's UK theaters for $147 million in 2009.

Acquiring the Foxwoods' lease marks the first time the group has control over a theater venue in America, although it has been a producer of numerous shows on Broadway. "It is no secret that we at ATG have been looking to expand our impressive portfolio of UK theaters, by making acquisitions and alliances in strategic markets around the world," said a statement from the Ambassador Theatre Group.

The company also said it hoped to keep the "Spider-Man" musical at its current 42nd Street home "for a very long time." The show is still regularly topping $1 million in revenue a week.

The theater now known as the Foxwoods underwent a major renovation in the mid-1990s and reopened in 1998 as the Ford Center for the Performing Arts. In 2010, it became Foxwoods Theatre and its tenants have included "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and "Young Frankenstein."

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