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Masonic Temple: We’re Not Bankrupt

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Inside Detroit's Masonic Temple (Credit: Paul Warner/NFLPhotoLibrary for Euro RSCG Worldwide - NY)

Inside Detroit’s Masonic Temple (Credit: Paul Warner/NFLPhotoLibrary for Euro RSCG Worldwide – NY)

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Officials at the Masonic Temple want to make it clear that it’s a theater management company that is filing for bankruptcy — not the Detroit landmark.

Standing outside of the main entrance to the venue on Wednesday, Brad Dizik, Special Adviser to the Board of Directors, told reporters he and the board were shocked to hear reports of a bankruptcy.

“I was woken up by a phone call early this morning on my vacation informing me that my client was in bankruptcy — and I said, ‘What?’” Dizik    said. “We’re just trying to correct the record. We’re trying to let folks in Detroit know that, one: We have no threat of going into bankruptcy; the temple is not in bankruptcy.”

The confusion came after a Chapter 11 filing was made by the Detroit Masonic Temple Theatre Company of Sterling Heights — a third-party management group hired by the Temple’s owners.   The Detroit News on Wednesday reported that the Temple’s owners had filed for bankruptcy protection, but later corrected the story.

This latest comes just weeks after Detroit native Grammy award-winning musician Jack White made headlines when he paid a $142,000 back tax bill for the historic venue.

The money from White to pay the Masonic Temple’s 2010-2012 tax delinquency prevented a threatened auction of the venue where The Who and the Rolling Stones once played. At the time, the temple was days away from being put up for sale.

After White paid the tax bill, temple owners said they were renaming the 1,586-seat theater in its benefactor’s name as the Jack White Theater.

“Because of what Jack White did for us, we have no outstanding tax issues …” Dizik said. “We are very excited about what the future holds. We are going to be a vital part of the new entertainment district.”

Located in the Cass Corridor neighborhood north of downtown Detroit, the temple is home to several masonic organizations.

The 14-story Gothic structure, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, takes up an entire block and has more than 1,000 rooms. The theater is a concert site that for decades hosted some of the biggest acts in music.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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