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Jean Cocteau Cinema building allegedly sold to author

The former Jean Cocteau Cinema and Coffee House building has been sold, and a news conference has been scheduled for next week on plans for the property. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)
The former Jean Cocteau Cinema and Coffee House building has been sold, and a news conference has been scheduled for next week on plans for the property. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The building that used to be home to the Jean Cocteau Cinema and Coffee House has changed hands, and a new owner appears to be acclaimed Santa Fe-based author George R.R. Martin.

Documents obtained from the Santa Fe County Clerk show that Trans-Lux Montezuma Corporation sold the property at 418 Montezuma Ave. in February to a company called Faceless Man.

Martin’s wife, Parris McBride, was reached at a phone number associated with the Faceless Man address listed on the legal deed.

She said she wasn’t going to make any statements at present on the purchase or plans for the property.

McBride declined to formally confirm whether she and Martin, individually or together, had purchased the theater.

But Jon Bowman, former director of the Santa Fe Film Festival, said later that a press conference has been scheduled for Tuesday to discuss plans for the property.

Trans-Lux Montezuma is part of the national Trans-Lux firm, formerly known for its chain of theaters, but which now focuses on LED electronic display systems for scoreboards, electronic tickertapes and other uses.

The company purchased the Jean Cocteau building in 1990.

Martin is known for books including the “Song of Ice and Fire” series, on which the HBO television series “Game of Thrones” is based.

The single-screen Jean Cocteau, beloved by many in Santa Fe for its independent and art-house films, closed in 2006.

In late January, New Mexico Bank and Trust filed a foreclosure complaint in state District Court alleging that Trans-Lux Montezuma had defaulted on a $2 million mortgage loan from 2007.

The complaint said Trans-Lux owes about $1.9 million in principal, interest and late fees and asks for an order that the property be sold, with proceeds going to the bank.

At the time, the building was already on the market for $1.9 million. Realtor David Barker told the Journal his firm was “working hard to get it sold” and “we do have some good interest in the property right now.”

The foreclosure complaint was dismissed in early February, according to court documents.

The Wild Hare salon currently operates in a street-level commercial space in the building.

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