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L.A. City Council committee OKs $30-million Cirque du Soleil loan

July 29, 2009 |  1:01 pm

Cirque2 Los Angeles took a big step today toward securing a resident Cirque du Soleil production in Hollywood.

This morning, a five-member committee of the L.A. City Council voted to move ahead with a $30-million loan that would help bring the popular acrobatic circus company to the Kodak Theatre, located at the Hollywood & Highland mall. The council’s Housing, Community and Economic Development Committee unanimously forwarded the loan proposal to the full council.

CIM Group owns Hollywood & Highland and sought the loan to retrofit the Kodak to meet Cirque's technical demands. CIM currently leases the Kodak from the city.

Under the proposed loan agreement, Cirque would set up residence at the Kodak for 10 years. The backers of the project would promise to create no fewer than 858 jobs and stage the acrobatic show 368 times per year.

The Kodak will continue to serve as the home of the annual Academy Awards ceremony, which is held in late February each year.

One of the major supporters of the loan is council President Eric Garcetti, whose district includes Hollywood & Highland. Garcetti has argued that Cirque would become one of the biggest tourist attractions in the city and would help to generate significant revenue. But dissenters, including Councilman Dennis Zine, claim that the $30 million would be better spent across various projects.

The loan would be processed by the city's Community Development Department. So far, L.A. has invested $127 million in the Hollywood & Highland complex, most of which has gone toward the underground parking structure and the theater.

What do you think about the $30-million loan? Vote here.

-- David Ng

Photo: A member of Cirque du Soleil performs in "Zumanity." Credit: Los Angeles Times

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