The Leicester Haymarket Theatre, which closed in 2007, is costing the council £150,000 a year on a lease that has another 60 years to run.
Leicester City Council is now hoping to find a developer by advertising the property online for a price in the region of £500,000.
If the council continues to lease the property, the final cost will total £9m.
The theatre was once considered one of the country's top provincial theatres, attracting stars like Anthony Hopkins and Peter O'Toole.
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