A shutoff notice is taped to the front door of the historic building for failure to pay its bills. The DTE Energy posting says electric and natural-gas service will be disconnected on or after Sunday unless the account is made current.
“We’re not not paying bills. It’s trying to be timely with the bills,” said Jimmy Romeo, the Masonic’s director of events. “The bill will be paid in the allotted time.”
He said that the private event, which is next on the Masonic calendar, will go on as scheduled tonight.
It takes $3,000 a day to run the Masonic, he added.
According to Romeo, the Detroit Masonic Theater Company who runs the entertainment venue for the Masons inherited the outstanding bills when it took over management of the landmark.
Olympia Entertainment oversaw the Masonic until 2010.
A representative for the Ilitch-owned firm would not comment but said the company would release a statement today.
DTE Energy said in a written statement that the Masonic Temple has “accrued a substantial unpaid balance and attempts to reach a workable payment arrangement with the facility’s management have been unsuccessful … Facility management has not complied with a recent agreement for partial payment that would prevent shutoff. We continue to talk with the management team.”
The utility also acknowledged the important role the theater plays in Detroit and the surrounding region.
“We recognize the iconic status that the Masonic Temple holds in the community and we regret that a shutoff may be necessary, but in fairness to all of our customers we cannot continue to provide utility services without payment.”
Standing near the nearly-vacant entrance to the theater, Romeo listed some of the famous acts who’ve performed at the masonic over the years, including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who and the Rolling Stones.
The Masonic Temple has two major theaters seating 4,300 and 1,500 respectively and ballrooms for up to 1,000 people.