The owners of the Island Theatre in Oak Bluffs are under a strict court order to set a plan for repairs after missing a deadline this week.

Oak Bluffs town counsel Ronald H. Rappaport: "I'm frustrated that there's no contract." — Mark Lovewell

Speaking in stern tones, the Hon. Cornelius J. Moriarty ordered an attorney for the Hall family to submit a detailed plan to repair their rundown Circuit avenue building by the end of the day Tuesday. Failing that, the judge said he will mark the matter up for a speedy trial.

During a 20-minute hearing in the Edgartown courthouse Friday, Judge Moriarty expressed his displeasure with the failure by the Halls to comply with his order last week that called for a status report, including the names of contractors and a timeline of repairs, to be submitted by the end of the day Wednesday. Hall family attorney Kevin Cain and Oak Bluffs town counsel Ronald H. Rappaport had both agreed to the order during a hearing in the Edgartown courthouse last week. The town filed a complaint against the Halls on grounds that the crumbling theatre is a public safety hazard.

On Wednesday this week, Mr. Cain faxed a partial report, instead of appearing in court as he was ordered to do by the judge if the terms could not be met.

On Friday, Judge Moriarty underscored the public safety concerns.

“The building is said to be in imminent danger of collapse, all right,” he said.“It’s been certified as dangerous by a board of survey. The building sits at the busiest intersection, I believe, on the entire Island of Martha’s Vineyard. And it poses a real danger.”

Mr. Rappaport said the slow pace by theatre owners has been a problem. The Halls have pulled a building permit but had not yet paid for it as of this week or submitted complete plans as ordered by the judge. “I understand Mr. Cain has done the best that he can, but I’m frustrated that there’s no contract,” Mr. Rappaport said.

Judge Moriarty made his displeasure clear. — Mark Lovewell

Mr. Cain detailed what he called a logistical nightmare, including bringing a crew of six or seven to the Island and procuring special materials. He said he has brought contractors over from the mainland, and he believed a contract was imminent.

“I personally handled all of it,” the attorney said, detailing two days of scrambling after finding out that the contractor they believed would be available to do the work had backed out.

“I think that there were forces outside of my control that perhaps influenced the decision,” he said

Mr. Cain said Friday was his third trip to the Vineyard this week. “I hope you’ll at least appreciate that I’m doing my part,” he said.

“I’m not worried about your part,” Judge Moriarty returned. “What I’m worried about, frankly, is your clients’ part.”

He continued: “I believe there were numerous efforts to have your clients comply with orders that the building inspector issued . . . and it seems that they stall and delay and do nothing.” He also made it clear that he was displeased about the violation of the earlier court order this week.

Mr. Cain faces a Tuesday deadline. — Mark Lovewell

“It wasn’t my request. It was my order. Because you didn’t appear the other day when you were supposed to appear,” Judge Moriarty said.

Mr. Cain said he disagreed that there was a violation, noting that the agreement called for best effort. “And your honor, my clients have been using their best efforts. I’m the one doing the work.”

The judge expressed broader concerns, telling Mr. Cain that he recalled a time two years ago when Ben Hall Jr., one of the owners, stood in court and said he did not have money to satisfy a court order. “I don’t want you to betray any information, sir, but is that an issue here?”

“I don’t know,” Mr. Cain said. “Frankly I don’t know who is going to pay the contractors. I just know there’s going to be a contractor to do the work.”

Mr. Cain said he believed a written contract with start and completion dates could be secured by Tuesday. ‘“If it doesn’t . . . then I have some explaining to do, certainly.”

Judge Moriarty gave the Halls until Tuesday at 4 p.m. to submit the report.

“If that isn’t done, we’ll mark the matter up for a hearing on a preliminary injunction and I may order it consolidated with a trial on the merits,” he said.