03/31/11 12:58pm

IT’S OFFICIAL: ROBERT REDFORD, SUNDANCE CINEMA TAKING OVER THE ANGELIKA, HOLDING YOUR SEAT Robert Redford’s Sundance Cinema will spend $2.25 million to renovate the 36,000-sq.-ft. former Angelika Film Center space in Bayou Place downtown, according to today’s official announcement from the Mayor’s office. The new movie complex is scheduled to open on November 1 in the former Albert Thomas Convention Center at 510 Texas St. Underground parking will still be free, but movie showings will have reserved seating only. [Previously on Swamplot] Photo: Aaron Carpenter

02/10/11 7:25pm

The city of Houston and the Cordish Company are “deep into negotiations” with Sundance Cinemas to take over the former Angelika Theater spot at Bayou Place, Steven Thomson reports. Robert Redford’s Sundance Group has operated 2 Sundance Cinemas since 2007 — an 8-screen complex in San Francisco and a 6-screen multiplex in Madison, Wisconsin. If Sundance does end up taking over the vacant Angelika space at 510 Texas St. and maintains all existing screens, it would tie with the Sundance Kabuki Cinema near Pacific Heights as the largest complex in the small chain. The company appears to have scaled back the aggressive expansion plans it announced 4 years ago, which included new theaters in Chicago and Denver. The Angelika Film Center closed suddenly last summer.


08/31/10 11:54am

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?