Convicted ex-Naperville theater owner gets October sentencing date
A DuPage County judge set an October sentencing date Friday for the former owner of the Hollywood Palms cinema in Naperville and the Hollywood Blvd. movie theater in Woodridge.
Edwin C. "Ted" Bulthaup, 59, of Woodridge faces a sentence of four to 15 years in prison for tax evasion and three to seven years for fraud when he is sentenced Oct. 26.
Bulthaup pleaded guilty to the charges during a July hearing in which Illinois attorney general's office prosecutors agreed to dismiss 104 additional counts of wire fraud.
State officials allege Bulthaup underreported sales by a total of $18 million from 2009 to 2013 at the Naperville theater and Hollywood Blvd. theater in Woodridge, which he owned and operated until Feb. 10, 2014.
The Illinois Department of Revenue began investigating Bulthaup in February 2014, when agents searched his businesses and seized records and computer information.
Officials said some of the tax liabilities mentioned in the two cases come from use taxes on items the business would buy to support its operations, such as a roll of tickets to sell to moviegoers or a computer on which to conduct ticket sales.
Hollywood Palms, 352 S. Route 59 in Naperville, opened in 2009 as a cinema, bar and restaurant that promoted itself as "Chicagoland's premiere moviegoing experience with real class." It was one of the few facilities to offer patrons full dining and drinking options while watching a movie. The theater also hosted frequent celebrity appearances at movie showings. Hollywood Palms was sold to Houston, Texas-based Star Cinema Grill in April 2015.
Bulthaup sold Hollywood Blvd. at 1001 E. 75th St. in Woodridge in federal bankruptcy court, documents show. Since Feb. 10, Hollywood Blvd has been owned and operated by Hobson Financial Group of Illinois.
Bulthaup has been free on $25,000 bail since Dec. 17, 2014.