Naperville Hollywood theater’s sister site changes hands

<p>Ted Bulthaup, owner of the Hollywood Blvd. cinema and the Hollywood Palms cinema in Naperville, sits on top of a waterfall at the Naperville cinema. | Sun-Times Media File</p>

Ted Bulthaup, owner of the Hollywood Blvd. cinema and the Hollywood Palms cinema in Naperville, sits on top of a waterfall at the Naperville cinema. | Sun-Times Media File

The Hollywood Palms in Naperville and Hollywood Blvd. in Woodridge are now under separate ownership, with the theaters also part of an apparent ongoing tax investigation.

The two area cinema complexes go under the Tinseltown brand and now have different ownership after a bankruptcy trustee’s request for the sale of the 10-screen Woodridge location made its way through legal channels last week.

A well-placed source who declined to be identified said the ownership transfer was processed several days after both locations were visited by federal tax authorities on Feb. 6.

The revenue agents seized boxes of records and downloaded tax information from the offices’ computers, he said, with backup from local law enforcement.

“We had an investigator assist them,” Naperville Police Sgt. Bill Davis said Monday, confirming the investigation.

Sue Hofer, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Revenue, said Tuesday she could not comment on whether or not her agency is investigating Bulthaup or either or both of the theaters.

Operating under the tag line “a cinema, bar & eatery,” both theaters serve upscale food and cocktails to patrons seated at tables in comfortable chairs.

A Feb. 25 hearing gave final clearance for Hollywood Blvd., on 75th Street just west of Lemont Road, to be purchased by Hobson Financial Group of Illinois Inc., following a Jan. 31 public auction, court documents show. Ted Bulthaup, who established both niche restaurant/theater complexes, still owns the Naperville site.

“I own the Hollywood Palms,” Bulthaup said Monday, adding that Hollywood Blvd. had been sold.

Bulthaup was interviewed Feb. 19 for a pre-Oscar Night story about his specialty theaters that appeared in The Sun last week, but made no mention of the pending sale at that time.

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