Palace Theatre slated for demolition, officials say


Representatives of the Chapin Company, which owns the Palace Theatre, have told Myrtle Beach the building is slated for demolition.

Myrtle Beach City Attorney Tom Ellenburg said Tuesday morning that he heard the news in conversation with attorneys representing the company. Doug Zayicek, the company’s lawyer, confirmed the impending demolition.

“Based on the extent of the storm damage and the age of the building and the cost of the repairs that would be necessary to make the building functional again … that’s really the only feasible option,” Zayicek told The Sun News Tuesday afternoon.

The building was severely damaged during Hurricane Matthew last October, leaving a gaping hole in its facade that has remained uncovered since.

“They have every intention, according to their attorney, to demolish the building as soon as possible,” Ellenburg said in a city council workshop.

Zayicek also said that the tenant of the building left about a month ago.

Jay Lodge, the chief executive officer of the Palace’s former management company, Spirit Productions USA, could not be reached by phone call or text message Tuesday.

The city began the legal process to bring the building into code compliance with a Jan. 31 filing.

“We’ve certainly notified the Palace Theatre that it needs to make the repairs or demolish the building,” city spokesman Mark Kruea told The Sun News last month. “It’s time to fix it or make it go away.”

On Tuesday, Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes said that the city has not specifically demanded that the owners take the building down.

“We are not the ones that are forcing the building to be torn down,” Rhodes said. “We were telling them to bring the building up to standards.”

“If the Chapin Co. through their investigation has come to the conclusion that the building, because of the openness that it’s had and the mildew that’s in it … they’ve been told the best thing to do was to demolish the building,” he added.

Bruce Bolineau of the City of Myrtle Beach said that attorneys representing the land owner are working on securing permits for demolition.

Zayicek also said that an asbestos letter indicates there is no asbestos in the building.

Chloe Johnson: 843-626-0381, @_ChloeAJ