The high-stakes leasing drama that culminated in Sunday’s sudden early-morning shuttering of the Angelika Film Center at Bayou Place Downtown included some familiar plot elements: the wandering eye, the unwillingness to commit, the threats of retaliation, the uh . . . 30-day notice to terminate. Andrew Dansby and Nancy Sarnoff track the courtroom scenes:
Angelika’s landlord, Bayou Place Limited Partnership, filed suit more than a week ago claiming the cinema was threatening to remove equipment from the theater if it did not receive a new lease.
The landlord’s petition outlines a situation dating to 2007, when the theater’s first 10-year lease expired. It did not exercise an option to renew for another 10 years.
The Angelika – also called Bayou Cinemas in the petition – continued as a month-to-month tenant at reduce rent, according to the petition.
Bayou Place and the Angelika continued discussions on a new lease, even as the landlord, an affiliate of the Cordish Co., sought a tenant that would enter into a long-term lease for a cinema.
But during a meeting, according to the petition, a principal of Bayou Cinemas threatened to remove equipment if the parties couldn’t reach a deal. Based on the initial lease agreement, the property belongs to the landlord, the petition claims.
The theater’s lawyer has filed a general denial of the allegations in the suit.
And oh, the broken promises: Angelika says the company had received official notice ending its month-to-month tenancy as of September 18th; Bayou Place’s general manager says Angelika changed its mind about committing to something longer term. How will it all end?
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