Music will return to the Varsity Theater soon

There's nothing on the calendar right now, but the new owners plan to change that.

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.

Next Up


DirecTV subscribers could lose KARE 11 on Tuesday

A new contract needs to be agreed upon by 6 p.m. Tuesday.

prison, Rush City cell block

Inmate from Rush City prison dies after COVID-19 diagnosis

The man is the fifth incarcerated person in Minnesota to die from COVID-19.


Belle Plaine man dies after duck boat capsizes on lake

One man was found sitting on the overturned boat while another man was in the water.

Screen Shot 2020-11-29 at 4.59.51 PM

Watch: Adam Thielen watches end of Vikings/Panthers just like all of us

The Vikings receiver looked like a true fan on Sunday afternoon.

Chad Beebe

Chad Beebe's roller-coaster fourth-quarter keeps Vikings playoff hopes alive

A muffed punt and a game-winning touchdown helped defeat the Panthers on Sunday afternoon.


West-central MN cops warn kids to stay off ice, or 'Santa won't come'

This comes amid repeated ice warnings across the state.

covid-19, coronavirus, PPE

Nov. 29 COVID-19 update: 57 deaths, nearly 9,000 more cases

Nearly 100,000 tests were included in Sunday's report.

jim ramstad

Watch former Rep. Jim Ramstad's memorial service online

The ceremony will be live-streamed for the public on Sunday.


How high can Rashod Bateman go in the 2021 NFL Draft?

The Gophers star receiver has plenty of praise heading into next April.

TCF Bank Stadium

15 more from Gopher football team test positive for COVID-19

That brings the total number of cases from this outbreak to 40.

Teddy Bridgewater

5 questions for Vikings-Panthers Week 12 NFC battle

The Vikings welcome Teddy Bridgewater back to U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

police lights

Man, 21, in custody after Albert Lea police officer shot in the chest

The officer was able to drive to an emergency room.


Varsity Theater announces first concerts of 2018

The venue announced two 2018 shows – the first events there in over a year.

Former Varsity Theater owner now owes $2.5M in molestation case

It's over alleged abuse at the Children's Theater Company in the 1980s.

Luxury movie theater is opening soon at Mall of America – but who would pay $25 to see a film?

That's the ask of CMX Cinemas, which is opening a new luxury theater at MOA.

You'll soon be able to buy Fulton beer in the Big Apple

The brewery is expanding distribution to five new states.

Soon you'll be able to record yourself singing Prince songs at Paisley Park

Paisley Park announced new, themed tours starting Dec. 1.