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Biltmore Theater Goes for Over $5 Million

February 17, 1988

NEW YORK (AP) _ The Biltmore Theater, one of the largest houses on Broadway, has been sold for $5.35 million, and the new owner says he’ll try to use it as a cabaret theater.

Morris Gluck, who bought the theater at auction Tuesday, said through a spokesman that he plans to keep the 948-seat house as a theater. But other theater owners said the high price could force Gluck to develop the site’s air rights.

The auction started with a base price of $4 million. The sale was tentative, pending the working out of final details.

Gary Waskow, a spokesman for Properties at Auction, which managed the sale, said Gluck was negotiating with an unidentified producer interested in becoming a new tenant in the building.

″The proposed tenant has in mind to use the Biltmore as a cabaret theater,″ said Rene Frank, president of Properties at Auction. ″They want to try something that has never been done in New York.″

The interior of the theater, which opened in 1925 at on West 47th Street, was given landmark status late last year, so any changes would have to be approved by the city. The building comes with 136,000 square feet of air rights on Broadway.

The last long-running hit in the theater was the musical ″Hair,″ which closed in 1972 after more than four years.

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