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One Of Broadway’s Last Independent Theaters For Sale

November 12, 1987

NEW YORK (AP) _ The Helen Hayes Theater, one of Broadway’s last independently owned theaters, will be sold at auction, one of its owners said.

The 499-seat theater, one of the smallest on Broadway, was built in 1912 and was originally named the Little Theater. In the past few years it has housed runs of ″Gemini″ and ″Torch Song Trilogy,″ and it is currently home to ″The Nerd.″

Martin Markinson and Donald Tick bought the theater for $800,000 in 1979. In July 1983, after three other theaters were torn down to make way for a hotel, the theater was renamed the Helen Hayes to keep the name alive.

The owners have put a minimum value of $5 million on the theater. The March 24 sale will be handled jointly by Christie’s and Cushman & Wakefield.

″It’s certainly not a distress sale,″ Markinson said Wednesday.

He said he and his partner, whose main business is a Long Island insurance company, are thinking about getting ″more into production,″ but would only sell the theater if the minimum purchase price is met.