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LOS ANGELES-A Bankruptcy Court judge here has approved the sale of the historic Pasadena Playhouse complex to a private family trust that plans to turn part of the project into loft apartments.

The Greg Varon Family Trust’s offer for the property on El Molino Avenue is valued at about $4.5 million. The trust plans to convert an old tower at the back of the property into 17 loft apartments, and to find a tenant for some vacant restaurant space on the project’s ground floor.

The complex sale does not include the main auditorium, which is leased to the City of Pasadena. The city subleases the auditorium to the nonprofit Pasadena Playhouse State Theatre, which will continue to stage live plays on the site.

The bankruptcy deal approved by Judge Thomas B. Donovan also allows the development’s longtime owner, David Houk, 90 days after completion of the sale to lease back a small upstairs theater at the site as a venue for Houk’s own production company to continue staging live plays. The sale is expected to be completed on Nov. 30.

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