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L.A. city politicians set to debate $30-million Cirque du Soleil loan

July 29, 2009 |  9:30 am


It could become a major tourist attraction. Or it could be an extravagance that the city just can't afford.

Today, the L.A. City Council is set to debate a plan to issue a $30-million loan that would allow the owner of Hollywood & Highland to retrofit the Kodak Theatre so it can house a decade of performances by Cirque du Soleil.

CIM Group currently leases the Kodak Theatre within the mall and hopes to bring the acrobatic circus company to the theater beginning 2011. CIM has agreed that in exchange for the loan, they and their partners would pledge to create at least 858 jobs.

Council President Eric Garcetti, whose district includes Hollywood & Highland, is in favor of the loan. But Councilman Dennis Zine, who represents parts of the West San Fernando Valley, is arguing that the $30 million could be more effective if it were spread across the city.

City officials say that the average Cirque du Soleil ticket is expected to cost $110 per person and that the Kodak would host at least 368 Cirque shows a year. If average attendance reaches 60% to 65% of capacity, the borrowers would be able to repay the loan, according to Ninoos Benjamin, economic development director with the city's development department.

What do you think?

-- David Ng

Photo: Company members from Cirque du Soleil. Credit: Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (3)

Who has $110 to spend on Cirque tickets? Remember the days when they performed in a tent at Santa Monica beach? Look. This money should be carefully spent on projects and businesses that need it most and can provide the greatest benefit to the City. That's not what a Cirque show will do. If tourists want to see a Cirque show, they will go to Vegas where you can have your choice of several different shows for the same price or cheaper. Locals aren't going to bother either. The money should be spent wiser. What a crock.

In this economic downturn the City Council of Los Angeles has to be more carefull. Giving 30million dollars to the CMI group is irresponsible. There are many more ways that this money could be spent to improve the community. My street has not been paved in 35 years and shows signs of deterioration and pot holes. That is where the money should be spent to improve our community, not to line the pockets of the fat cats in Hollywood, who support the city council. Pork Barrel at its worst!!!

I want to know which part of this sounded good and to whom. I mean seriously, they are laying everyone off teachers, county clerks, etc. cutting summer schools, holding back money from government agencies to buy necessary items to keep it up and running.
I have a school down at the end of my street been closed 10 years, and they still send out maintenance people all the time. I should pay for that? Put some kids in it.
I was also at the Van Nuys court house Tuesday the 16th and they were handing out yellow slips. It was pretty sad but I bet $30million would have kept their jobs. ALL these people getting burned while the money goes to a source that will create ONLY 858 jobs? How many lay-offs have been delivered? Math isn't that difficult.


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