Company Town

The business behind the show

« Previous Post | Company Town Home | Next Post »

Don't hold the presses: Plan to close 'motion picture home' affirmed

August 25, 2009 |  5:45 pm

With all the predictability of a Hollywood sequel, management of the Motion Picture & Television Fund on Tuesday reiterated what it said six months ago: that it is shutting down the decades-old "motion picture home" by the end of the year.

Dr. David Tillman, president and chief executive of the Motion Picture & Television Fund said in a letter Tuesday that recent efforts to mediate a settlement with attorneys representing the residents had failed and urged them to move ahead with plans to relocate.

"We must move forward with phasing out the facility and we want to remind you once again of the resources and assistance we are providing, and to urge you to take full advantage of them," Tillman wrote.

He said the fund had identified 22 high-quality nursing facilities that would accept residents and allow the fund to provide ongoing services.

"We are deeply saddened by the fact that we have to close the long-term-care facility," Tillman wrote.

Tillman did not say when exactly residents had to leave, or when the fund might issue notices of eviction, the likely catalyst for a lawsuit by the residents, who are represented by the law firm of Gerardi & Keese. So far, only 24 of about 100 residents have moved out.

Fund officials and board members maintain they have little choice but to close the nursing home and adjoining hospital because the facilities have been generating huge losses that would jeopardize the fund's various other services, which include operating six area health centers that serve 60,000 industry workers and their families.

But family members contend that closing the facility violates the implicit promise the fund made to care for infirm entertainment industry workers, many of whom have been traumatized by the decision. They've been waging a campaign to keep the home open.

"This letter is a shameful attempt to force the residents out by frightening them,'' said Nancy Biederman, whose mother-in-law is a resident in the nursing home and has been a vocal opponent of the planned closing. "It's a shameful tactic that's sadly typical of their behavior. We're not going anywhere."

-- Richard Verrier