Ex-Masonic Temple operators file for bankruptcy

Masonic Facade

Clarification: Temple spokespeople today said the current operators of the building did not file for bankruptcy protection.  

The former operators of the Detroit Masonic Temple, a longtime attraction to some of the world’s most iconic musicians, has filed for bankruptcy protection after decades of plummeting membership and waning interest.

The Chapter 11 filing comes after rocker Jack White recently donated $142,000 to save the world’s largest Masonic temple from foreclosure.

It’s not immediately clear what this means for the historic neo-Gothic temple, which is still promoting events on its website. Temple spokespeople said today that current owners of the building did not file the suit.

According to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing, the Detroit Masonic Temple Theatre Co. is seeking protection from a lawsuit by Planet Stage, an event producer that alleges the temple owes $81,227 for a November 2012 gig featuring Avant, Dave Hollister, Brian McKnight and Mint Condition.

Planet Stage says it paid the temple $10,000 plus $2 per ticket to host the concert. The Masonic Temple was supposed to pay Planet Stage the balance but never did, according to the suit.

The ornate Masonic Temple has two theaters, two ballrooms and more than 1,000 rooms.

To see our photos of the temple’s exquisite interior, click here.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.