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Panel OKs $30-million loan for Cirque du Soleil in Hollywood

Cirqsoleil

A five-member committee of the Los Angeles City Council voted this morning to move ahead with a $30- million loan that would bring a decade of Cirque du Soleil performances to the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.

The council’s Housing, Community and Economic Development Committee unanimously forwarded the loan proposal to the full council for a vote, saying the deal would boost the economy by drawing tourists to the Hollywood & Highland shopping mall, where the theater is located.

Under the proposed loan agreement, TheatreDreams LA/CHI would promise to create no fewer than 858 jobs and stage the acrobatic show 368 times per year.

“This is really going to be, outside of the Academy Awards, the landmark show in Hollywood,” said Council President Eric Garcetti, whose district includes the mall.

The Community Development Department, which is processing the loan, estimated the city already has invested $127 million in the Hollywood & Highland complex, with a majority of that money going toward the construction of the underground parking garage and the theater.

On Tuesday, Councilman Dennis Zine questioned whether so much federal loan money should be devoted to a single economic development project. But Councilman Tony Cardenas said this morning that critics were taking aim at the deal simply because the facility is “so high-profile and so pretty.”

CIM Group, which owns Hollywood & Highland, sought the loan. The company is also relying on the city for financial help with development projects planned in Mid-City and Reseda. CIM Group leases the Kodak Theatre from the city, and its Urban Real Estate Fund is part of TheatreDreams LA/CHI. Under the proposal, the theater will continue to serve as the home of the annual Academy Awards ceremony.

-- David Zahniser

Photo: Christian Fitzharris clowns around a crowd gathered in May in Santa Monica. Credit: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times.

 
Comments () | Archives (37)

Excellent move. This is going to be very important to the Hollywood Comeback.

FAIL. Maintain a 65% attendance at $110/ticket (minimum) in order to pay back the loan? Yeah. That'll happen. NOT.

Cirque is great, but it's over saturated. It's everywhere already. You can only go to so many of those shows before it gets monotonous. I heard it would be $114 a ticket, so good luck. To me it was just picked from a list of current touring machines. Probably beat out "Blue Man Group" or "Stomp."

How about a good old-fashioned stage show tribute to Hollywood with full orchestra, and dancers. Like Radio City Music Hall? Now that I'd go see!

What about low interest loans to busineses that have made their home in Los Angeles for the past 25 years?

Why the big rush to help a Canadian company who hires workers from all over the country and not help local performing arts venues that are hurting?

Hey Angelinos! When you go to see the show....GO METRO!!!!

WHY taxpayer money ?
Use your own dollars if this is such a good idea.
When numbers are quoted they just don't add up.
OPM other peoples money, is easy too spend or loss.
Tax payer money that just vanishes is the bottom line.

This is another instance of the stupidity of the Spring Street Gang of 15. Cirque couldn't get financing from the banking industry so how does this make a good risk for the city WHICH IS $500-700 MILLION IN DEFICIT for this year? I wonder who is getting fat campaign contributions for re-election attempts next year? This is NOT a good use of taxpayer funds.

Unbelievably Outrageous Insanity. Potholes the size of craters are pretty when they bust your axle. Trash and abandoned furniture in city alleys equally attractive! Throat, ear and respiratory infections and disease caused by bacteria in the water at lala land beaches is a pretty and fun experience. Not a social health threat that should concern the city council or how about investing to at the very least repair or improve our aging and decaying sewers that are destroying our precious coast. Why fix these trivialities in the city when we can throw fed $$$ to developers to further congest and pilfer our land with empty expensive condo complexes. Why you ask bc these fed $$$ will return to city council morons in campaign contributions and the vicious circle of greed and no accountability shall continue to destroy our decaying metropolis at the taxpayers peril !

Why is the City of Los Angeles providing the loan? Why can't Cirque du Soleil go to the bank like the rest of us and ask for a loan?

Oh joy! The government dictates what they want people to go watch in Hollywood by loaning some company money in an effort to 'stimulate' an area.

Here's an idea: How about not giving them a loan, letting the taxpayers keep the $30 million, and allowing them to decide what they should spend it on to stimulate the economy instead of a select group of 5 'enlightened' council members.

And the loan is secured by PROMISEs....to fund Democratic re-election campaigns - like there REALLY IS any choice!

Why is the city paying a for profit circus to come to town? other cirque shows rake in money, so why do they need a loan?

is the city so rich they'll give out money to anyone that asks for it?

You have got to be kidding me. L.A. currently has thousands of its workers furloughed on a twice monthly basis, thousands more unsheltered homeless and mentally ill people scattered throughout our city streets, a school system in shambles, a medical system in meltdown mode just in time for a flu pandemic, a nasty fire season approaching, parks, libraries, and beaches that are a mess because they've been operating on little to no money for well over a decade. And still, our "enlightened" city council members find $30 million dollars to dump on a circus whose tickets cost a family of four almost $500 dollars. That's a brilliant move in this down economy. Yeah, that's a great way to spend HUD stimulus money. The city councils Housing, Community and Economic Development Committee really know what they're doing...we know that by how well the Grand Ave Project and Children's Muesum project went. Yeah. right.

Why is LA paying somebody to rent its own theater? Don't they have banks for loans?

amidst furloughs and city lay offs, wouldnt a loan guarantee be more appropriate?

Swell. Just what we need to spend money on. Are you people crazy? IMPEACH the LA City Council!!

Where are you getting this $110 figure from to base your argument on??

Unbelievably Outrageous Insanity. Potholes the size of craters are pretty when they bust your axle. Trash and abandoned furniture in city alleys equally attractive! Throat, ear and respiratory infections and disease caused by bacteria in the water at lala land beaches is a pretty and fun experience. Not a social health threat that should concern the city council or how about investing to at the very least repair or improve our aging and decaying sewers that are destroying our precious coast. Why fix these trivialities in the city when we can throw fed $$$ to developers to further congest and pilfer our land with empty expensive condo complexes. Why you ask bc these fed $$$ will return to city council morons in campaign contributions and the vicious circle of greed and no accountability shall continue to destroy our decaying metropolis at the taxpayers peril !

These council members are idiots. People don't have money to spend at these type of attractions anymore. So they give our tax money to another gamble which we'll probably lose in the horrible financial crisis we are in. I AGREE IMPREACH THESE FOOLS.

The end result of this is the council members will get (???#) free tickets to (???# performances) to use, giveaway, or sell .... and the loan may or may not be repaid.... isn't that special..i mean pretty.

i dont think is legal dont you have to have a licence to be a bank ?
dont they have to be voted by us the taxpayers ?
why dint they go to a bank , reason they probably dint qualify for a loan so they went to the cash cow city hall
is the economy gering better for the city of los angeles lowning money that we dont have
the 15 clowns in city hall have no respect for the voters of los angeles
they do what ever they plase they now no one is goin to stop them NO ONE

I understand this money is coming from HUD -- federal money, not local money. And it's to shore up a huge investment that's already been made. If you look at the FACTS you'll see that it's a logical way to safeguard an investment already made.

Dennis Zine is always 'questioning" everything his colleagues do in order to grandstand, especially if they're the Mayor or anyone of prominence in the Democratic party on the local scene.

Cirque is a huge revenue generator in Las Vegas, with tickets over $100. and attendees fill up hotels and restaurants too. As part of an overall Destination for Hollywood that it's already committed to, so it's sink or swim, might as well swim.

Zine AND Trutanich exploited the AEG/ Jackson affair the same way and have done great harm to the image of the city and relations with the business community. They both attack everyone from volunteer commissioners to councilmembers to especially the Mayor's office with stupid, baseless soundbites. This paper and David Zahniser especially always fall for it but stop giving them this free PR - they're exploiting it for their own political purposes. The Times SHOULD be doing a more fair analysis as to what's really behind this.

Outrageous!

Let Garcetti and co. explain what happened to the previous Hollywood and Highland/CRA $90 million plus bond repayment that was supposed to be entirely funded by the H&H parking garage revenue,

Except it isn't!

The city almost immediately began subsiding the previous mall owners by dropping parking fees to a such a low level that the H&H bond repayment schedule could not be met except with major topping up from other parking district revenue, general fund etc.

This is more of the same.

So by the Times estimate city taxpayers will have fronted at least $157 million for this albatross. Dare i say 'white elephant'! Hell CIM bought the entire shebang for $198 million in a fire sale.

The Canadians who built H&H and politicians who stuck us with largely un-funded bonds are long gone but now their compatriots have there hands out! And Garcetti et al like Goldberg and Riordan before them go along with it.

But we will do the paying!

I disagree with most of you here - i think ppl will line up to go see this even at the steep prices - LA is full of rich ppl that dont pay any taxes and have no problem paying for this

and here we see the wisdom of our spendthrift politicians. now they give money away to one of the richest theaters in the world. what a joke....do these tax and spend idiots realize that our tax money is not their money. it is hard working peoples tax dollars being spent on a project that will never pay off. this city council should all be impeached for waste and fraud. of course they will get free tickets and lots of goodies from the developers who fund their campaigns...this is nothing more that political graft of the worst kind. IMPEACH THE COUNCIL who votes for this.

 
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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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