LAKE DELTON - A dinner theater in trouble with creditors and tax collectors has closed its doors. But its owner hopes to reopen when the economy improves.
In a statement on the theater's Web site, Peggy Sutphin, the CEO and owner of Wohlfahrt International LLC, the company that owns the Broadway Dinner Theatre in Lake Delton, announced the venue would close May 24.
"We express sincere appreciation to our customers, employees, vendors, creditors and well-wishers who have supported the theater since its opening in 2006," Sutphin wrote.
Sutphin stated that customers who have purchased tickets and gift certificates using credit cards should contact their credit card companies to process a full refund.
The company's attorney and registered agent Kevin Delorey of Madison referred questions to Sutphin. Messages left for Sutphin at her Virginia office were not returned.
Sutphin stated in the release that she hopes the theater can reopen when economic conditions improve.
In mid-April, Anthony and Diane Cornellier of Missouri, who loaned the theater $650,000 through their revocable trust, filed foreclosure against the theater, alleging that Wohlfahrt International had stopped making monthly payments and still owed $194,000.
Wohlfahrt International lost a 2007 lawsuit in which it was ordered to pay $4.72 million in outstanding construction expenses to Kraemer Brothers LLC, which built the theater.
Kraemer Brothers and other bill and tax collectors have signed on to the foreclosure lawsuit, asking to be made whole through the sale of the property.
Guy Svehlek, who owns Stuffs Restaurant in Wisconsin Dells, was executive chef for the Broadway Dinner Theatre until he was let go in December 2009 after working there for three years. During his tenure, Svehlek said the theater served between 400 and 1,200 people a day with eight full-time employees working under him and more part-time workers.
"And it was a lot of fun. The comment cards came back. Everybody enjoyed the food. They enjoyed the service," he said.
Svehlek said he hopes the theater reopens, with or without him.
"I fervently believe that (the dinner theater) is an amenity that is very well accepted in the Dells. I think that the Dells needs it. It's good, clean family entertainment. It's something that would be nice to see continue," he said.