James Carey, Attic Theatre producing artistic director, announced recently that the proposed opening of the new NoHo Repertory home at 11316 Burbank Blvd. was "dead in the water." He also announced that the Attic was shutting down for a few months to re-organize. Carey blames the North Hollywood Community Redevelopment Agency for the closure, charging it with preferring "to support a car dealership instead of live theatre."
"We were already moved in," said Carey, "and were about to sign escrow papers on a 6000 sq. ft. building. We had about $150,000 of private financing in place, our first show was in rehearsal, and we were on target for opening by the NoHo Arts Festival. A title search found that North Hollywood Community Redevelopment had a lien on the building. When we called to find out what the lien was for, we were told that they were holding the property for Metro Ford. The wild thing is that Metro Ford doesn't know if it wants the property or not. They may not make up their minds for several years.
"Meanwhile, because of the lien, our investors pulled out, we lost thousands in moving costs and income loss. We were over-extended and were forced to shut down a 13-year-old business and lay off four employees. Because? Metro Ford may or may not want the property. That seems unfair.
"Lillian Burkenheim, head of NoHo Redelopment, will not even talk to us about this," Carey continued, "so we are completely locked out. We have had to sell everything to pay off the short term debts--everything. All sets, seating, lights, office equipment--just everything. We don't know how we will continue. We will find a way, but for the short term, we are closed."
Neither Metro Ford or NoHo Redevelopment returned phone calls to Playbill On-Line. The Attic Theatre can be reached at (310) 652-9895. -- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent