by Michael R. Allen
The Avalon Theater at 4225 S. Kingshighway is sporting a for-sale sign for the first time since it closed in 1998. Why didn’t this sign go up years ago, before much of the deterioration started? Well, the City of St. Louis was not trying to gain trusteeship over the defunct Sopo Corporation that owns the Avalon. On May 11, the City Counselor’s Office filed suit against the corporation seeking to have the city appointed trustee to dissolve the corporation’s assets — namely, the Avalon Theater. The next hearing is scheduled for September 14 before Judge Robert Dierker, Jr.
For years, Greg Tsevis has acted as owner of the theater, and has told people that the historic neighborhood theater is for sale at prices ranging from $1 million to $2 million. The trouble is that Tsevis’ parents never appointed successor trustees to their corporation before passing away, meaning that Tsevis technically not the owner.
The listing price is familiar: $1 million. How valid would a sales contract with Sopo Corporation be? That’s a good question, but the high listing price almost certainly guarantees that question won’t be asked.