Sounding the Alarm at the Aurora Picture Show

SOUNDING THE ALARM AT THE AURORA PICTURE SHOW The microcinema’s founder, Andrea Grover, reports on the little Sunset Heights church on Aurora St. turned little movie theater — turned little crime scene: on recent events at the Menil-bungalow office of Aurora Picture Show on Sul Ross: “Now that the dust has settled . . . it’s OK to tell you: Aurora was burglarized, not once, but twice in 9 days, and the insurance claim was denied. . . . There was a small clause about a B3 monitoring system (a monitored alarm) that was not highlighted at signing and allowed the insurer to deny Aurora, after eleven uninterrupted years of payments to them (without a single claim) – probably amounting to $30-40,000 in insurance payments. . . . Now, out over $5000 worth of equipment, plus staff time, and contract labor for clean up . . .” [Facebook, via Arts in Houston]

16 Comment

  • Duh.

    Who would run a business in the barrio without a monitored alarm system? That’s just good business. Surprised they haven’t been burgled until now.

    Wouldn’t hurt to also have cameras recording to a DVR located in the attic, or some other out of the way place.

  • Thank your agent.

  • Surprised it didn’t happen sooner.

  • For the record, Aurora is now located in one of the Menil bungalows on Sul Ross. That is where the breakins took place.

  • I bet someone at Aurora starts reading the contracts they sign!

  • The area around the Menil is hardly the “barrio.”
    Guess you didn’t catch the correction.

  • My apologies… I never knew they moved from the defunct church building off N. Main, a neighborhood which is the epitome of barrio.

    My way of thinking is that having a monitored alarm system(and CCTV) in your business is another expense, like the light bill or the gas bill. Especially if your biz is located in the barrio or Montrose.

  • What’s the name of the insurance company that stole their money and refused to pay out?

  • A policy is a contract. If they failed to understand the terms and live up to them then there is no recourse. You can slam the insurer all you want but they are not set up to give away money. They want a reasonable assurance of risk. It was in the policy, they failed to live up to it, they lose. I love Aurora but maybe they should ask for a volunteer business manager to make sure things are in order.

  • markd: Apology accepted. However, there is nothing remotely defunct about the communal space my wife and I created, where we raise our two beautiful girls, and where for 10 years, hundreds of people shared a one-of-a-kind experience (sometimes life-changing). Nor is the neighborhood I live in the “epitome of the barrio”, but if you think so I still call it home. I know virtually all of my neighbors (in fact I’m surrounded by latinos on three sides, not to mention myself), and we host the vibrant East Sunset Heights Civic Club meeting quarterly. I invite you to attend anytime.

  • MC: Thanks for your Aurora love. To go the extra mile, you could volunteer yourself or a friend capable of the business managerial practices you suggest. Arts non-profits need all the help they can get.

  • Hey MarkD: Guess you haven’t been to East Sunset Heights (east of N. Main) in quite some time. Eight homes (one block north and one-two blocks over from the Aurora Picture Show) sold > $400K in the past 6 months…..hardly a barrio. But it is not a neighborhood that is into numbers…just a nice place to live…with lots of cool (and generous) people like Andrea & Carlos at the Aurora Picture Show. Sunset Heights will celebrate 100 years in 2010. Historically, it was a Polish neighborhood with lots of Polish folks still living in the area. You should stop by the Rose Garden (corner of Link and E 26th) for a beer. It is the oldest Polish bar in the city. You might just find what a friendly, unique neighborhood that East Sunset Heights is.

  • My bad again, I guess I should have made it clear-er that it was a defunct church I was referring to.
    As far as the neighborhood, I have to go through there more than I care to and it IS a barrio, perhaps you should consult your dictionary and refresh your understanding of the term.
    I can appreciate the history of the neighborhood and what it once was, but like in so many other Houston neighborhoods, those days are long gone.
    If one was to guess the predominate language of the neighborhood, would it be Polish or English? Or neither?

  • So, markd, what is it that you’re trying to say? That barrio dwellers are thieves and by living in what you call a barrio means you should expect to be burglarized? Perhaps you might want to put the shovel down and stop digging, dude.

  • lamarama,

    Looking at your website, you have a Board of Directors that include a business owner and two lawyers. The fact that they are not involved in your non-profit at a level where they can be asked for day to day operational issues shows an extreme dereliction of duty. Fire them and get board members that can help you and your staff understand the day to day operational issues. If they bring institutional revenue to Aurora and can’t be removed, get them more involved. If they don’t want to be, fire them.

    You also have an advisory board of 27 members that has very little business experience outside of the art world. You might want to diversify a bit to assist you in taking care of day to day operational issues.

    Unfortunately I’m moving to Singapore in January so I can’t help out. I’d love to. I’ll fire off an email to Aurora to see if I can help in the short term.


  • Hey Jessica, I’m guessing reading comprehension is not your forte.