WESTBORO (CBS) — The town of Westboro is trying to figure out what to do with an unused $9 million movie theater, but the building’s owner can’t be found.

Babcock and Brown, once a thriving international investment firm based in Australia, owned the theater. Regal Cinemas leased the building for the last 20 years, paying a bank acting on Babcock and Brown’s behalf–but when the lease ended, the town found out Babcock and Brown had gone belly-up way back in 2009.

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Now, the Regal Cinemas sits empty, and the town hasn’t been able to get in contact with the former owner to figure out what to do with the building.

Town Manager James Malloy told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones that he found a small office in San Francisco and an email address, and hopes to negotiate something with the bankrupt company before the property falls into disrepair.

“If there is no successor property owner, the town would likely, because Regal has been paying the taxes, begin the foreclosure proceedings for nonpayment of taxes,” he said.

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But that kind of foreclosure could take years. So Malloy is thinking of taking another route.

“My thought is, if they would agree if they’re not going to do anything with the property to a friendly eminent domain land-taking, where they could just sign the property over to the town and then we wouldn’t have the property sitting vacant for a long period of time.”

Customers, meanwhile, are being directed to the Regal Cinemas in Marlboro.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports

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