Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed John King and Rob Rossi as owners of the Downtown Centre Cinemas.
Property owners Rob Rossi and John King owe $97,801.88 in back taxes on the landmark Fremont Theatre in downtown San Luis Obispo, county officials said this week.
The theater was included on a list of tax-defaulted properties published Thursday in The Tribune.
Rossi and King could not be reached immediately for comment Thursday. A recording on the theater's phone number said it was closed for repairs.
Rossi has owned the theater since 2002 along with John King, according to the San Luis Obispo County Assessor’s Office.
The 23,000-square-foot property at 1035 Monterey St. was assessed at $1.73 million, county records show.
King and Rossi are local developers and hoteliers with properties around the county.
They have four years of back taxes that haven’t been paid dating to Jan. 30, 2010, said Gordon Eiland, division manager for the Treasury and Tax Collection Division of the county’s Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector. The most recent fiscal year, 2014-15, has been paid, Eiland said.
The owners now have the option to pay in full or set up an installment plan by June 30. If no plan is in place, the property becomes available for the tax collector to record a power of sale and start the process to auction it off.
If that happened, Eiland said, the theater could be offered for sale as early as May 2016. But Rossi and King would be able to stop the process by paying in full up to the sale date, he said.
The Fremont briefly closed in 2013 as the property owners worked out a new agreement with the theater’s tenant, Sanborn Theatres.
King and Rossi also own Mission Cinemas in San Luis Obispo. In addition, King Ventures owns Sycamore Mineral Springs, near Avila Beach, the Cliffs Resort and SeaVenture Hotel in Pismo Beach, and Apple Farm Inn in San Luis Obispo.
Rossi is working on plans to build more homes in various parts of the county: a 111-home development on Santa Margarita Ranch, and up to 100 homes and a 120-room hotel at Blacklake Golf Resort in Nipomo.
He’s also one of the owners of the Avila Beach Golf Resort, which submitted an application to the county Feb. 13 for a project that would include a lodge, cottages and professional amphitheater on the 170-acre property.
The Fremont has been a community landmark since it opened on Memorial Day, 1942. The premiere was attended by boxer Max Baer, child star Jackie Cooper and comedic duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, as well as hundreds of servicemen stationed at Camp San Luis Obispo and Camp Roberts.
Known for its neon-lit façade, swirling coved ceiling and 100-foot art deco murals, the building was designed in the Streamline Moderne style by movie theater architect S. Charles Lee.