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Live Nation acquires 50 percent of historic downtown San Antonio theater

Aztec_On_The_River-largeLess than a year after buying the Aztec Theatre, San Antonio entrepreneur Sam Panchevre’s PHH Entertainment Ventures LLC has sold half of its stake in the historic downtown venue to Los Angeles-based entertainment giant Live Nation.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The theater will be booked and managed by House of Blues Entertainment, a division of Live Nation whose portfolio includes The Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, The Tabernacle in Atlanta and other live music venues across the U.S. that fly the House of Blues flag.

Panchevre said in February his group had acquired the nearly 90-year-old Aztec from Baron Theodore Bracht for an undisclosed sum. Bracht, who lives in Brussels, bought the building in 1998 and completed a $20 million restoration of the 112,000-square-foot property in 2006.

Panchevre’s PHH Entertainment Ventures initially struck a deal to lease the old movie house portion of the Aztec building in 2013. He invested millions of dollars to transform the space into a more contemporary concert venue.

House of Blues Entertainment produces more than 9,500 events in 83 venues nationwide. It has theaters in Dallas and Houston.

Ben Weeden, chief operations officer for House of Blues, said buying the San Antonio theater “was the next logical move for us in Texas.” He also described San Antonio as a “vibrant music market with a very large population base that we think is underserved at the club and theater level.”

Weeden said Live Nation will spend a “significant amount of money” for further improvements at the Aztec. Some of the planned changes include a new VIP lounge, new dressing rooms and a special events facility that can tap into the Alamo City’s strong convention business.

San Antonio business development strategist David Barnett said live entertainment is a critical component in helping draw more people to the center city. He believes Live Nation can help create that momentum.

Click to read entire article: Live Nation acquires 50 percent of historic downtown San Antonio theater (San Antonio Business Journal, 08-20-15)

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