Music will return to the Varsity Theater soon

There's nothing on the calendar right now, but the new owners plan to change that.
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Live music may soon return to the Varsity Theater.

The Dinkytown, Minneapolis, venue – which hasn't hosted a show since last year – was purchased in June for $2.51 million, according Minnesota Department of Revenue records.

The Star Tribune says Gaw Capital Partners, a Hong Kong-based real estate private equity firm, bought the property and hopes to reopen it in the next few months.

The plan is to keep it as a music venue, the Business Journal reports.

The previous owner James McLean sold the Varsity Theater to Gaw Capital Partners to pay a legal settlement, Finance & Commerce reports. McLean was sued in 2015, accused of sexually abusing students at the Children's Theatre Company while he worked as a teacher there in the 1980s.

City Pages has chronicled the theater's demise since the charges were revealed – there have been no shows there in all of 2017, and previously some bands that had been scheduled to play there relocated as a response to the allegations.

And right now there's zilch on the calendar.

McLean meanwhile has disappeared, not showing up for his court dates, City Pages reported.

The Varsity Theater originally opened in 1915 as The University Theater – it was one of the last vaudeville houses in the City of Minneapolis, the theater's website says. It was remodeled in the late 1930s as a movie house, which closed in 1988. Over the next several years, it served as an underground club, then a photography and design studio, before McLean opened the Varsity Theater in 2005.

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