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?
Well, first stop for the lawsuit is an attempt at arbitration. But it looks like both sides want to end up with new partners: An Angelika rep says the company is already actively looking for a new Houston location. And Bayou Place is ready to rebound with another entertainer type, according to the West U Examiner‘s Michael Reed:
Gary Rhodes, general manager of Bayou Place Limited Partnership, which oversees the property, told the Examiner on Monday, leases for other potential tenants are already being being developed.
He said the the venue will remain â€œentertainment-oriented,â€ but would not comment on whether a new movie theater might replace the Angelika.
- Angelika hopes to make another run in Houston [Houston Chronicle]
- Angelika theater abruptly fades to black [West University Examiner]
- After Shuttering of Angelika’s Houston Location, CEO Says the Dallas, Plano Locations Are “Fine” [Dallas Observer]
- Previously on Swamplot: Angelika Theater Update: Whoâ€™s on Deck?, Downtown Shutdown: Angelika Film Center Goes Noir
Photos: Swamplot inbox