WORCESTER — The Palladium — one of New England’s largest and most successful venues for heavy metal rock bands — was sold this afternoon for $1.48 million.
John Fischer and John Sousa, who have owned the historic landmark for 22 years, sold the longtime entertainment complex to John Peters, who heads MassConcerts, which books acts at the building.
“He deserves the building,” said Mr. Fischer, a local lawyer. “He’s the guy that’s been keeping it open for years.
The parties closed the deal about 3:30 p.m. today.
The facility opened in November 1928 as the Plymouth Theater and operated as a moviehouse and performance venue for vaudeville acts and musicians.
The building was renamed the E.M. Loew Center for the Performing Arts in 1980. Mr. Fischer and Mr. Sousa purchased the four-story structure in 1990 for $1.3 million.
Over the last four years, it has drawn mainly heavy metal acts geared toward teens and young adults.
According to Mr. Fischer, the building has been up for sale for about three years.
Over that time period, two other parties had approached ownership about purchasing the theater, with the intent of marketing the venue for more mainstream and broader entertainment acts. Mr. Fischer said those talks fell through because of a lack of financing.
Mr. Fischer and Mr. Sousa had been negotiating with Mr. Peters about a potential sale since last summer.
The pair had been upset about the dramatic increase in the Palladium’s assessed valuation, which made it difficult for the two to maintain the property.
Under its initial assessed valuation for fiscal 2012, the annual property taxes on the Palladium were $65,887.
Last fall, the city reduced the assessed valuation from $2.26 million to $1.65 million. The reduction reduced the tax burden by $17,823 or more than 25 percent.
Mr. Fischer said Mr. Peters plans no changes to the Palladium.
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Special thanks to THS member Jonathan Boschen for sending this story.