By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
On August 8, the bar's owner, Theresa Alexander, was told by Landmark Theaters, which runs the theater and controls the Lounge's lease, that she had 60 days to vamoose. The reason: Landmark wanted to raise the annual rent to $65,000--or $26,000 more than she's currently paying. Alexander says the bar's not making enough to afford the increase, to which Landmark initially said: Fine, then leave.
Not so fast. Alexander sent Landmark a five-page letter explaining "why they did not want to do this to us, and they may have taken it seriously." Late last month, Alexander received yet another terse missive from Landmark, this one informing her it was rescinding its eviction notice. For now, at least. Alexander is back on the month-by-month rent plan, and she hopes to open negotiations with Landmark to figure out how to stay in the space she helped design and open in October 1982.
"We're very relieved to have another month," she says. "I'm not sure where we go from here--it's just a revocation of the notice to leave the premises--but I'm happy with it for now, I can tell you that."
So is Buzz. We need a good stiff drink or five to make our body limber enough to fit in the cramped seats in the upstairs torture chamber the Inwood calls a "theater."
Band of spenders: Strolling into the NorthPark Dillard's the other weekend, Buzz was struck by the loud Marine Band music playing over the store speakers. "Is it patriotic to buy stuff?" Buzz wondered, beginning to step vigorously in place. We're not much inclined to get shot, but shopping to support our country? Lock and load that Visa, boys. We're going over the top.
The aisles were filled with red-white-and-blue Tommy Hilfiger shirts selling at retail, but Buzz's consumer confidence was slumping too much for that. His 401k of speculative stocks--you know, those futuristic outfits with poor earnings prospects so in vogue a little while back--had been hammered flat. The Basses in Fort Worth were selling off chunks of Disneyland (Main Street, USA, we think), so even Buzz's "safe stock" took a ride down Splash Mountain.
With that in mind, it was off to the 66 percent markdown racks for a little patriotism on the cheap. As "Stars and Stripes Forever" rose into full fury, the piccolo in a manic trill, Buzz picked out three T-shirts--average price, $11--and headed for the checkout. "What's with the music?" Buzz asked the cashier. "Been on for two weeks," he said, smiling that someone would notice the odd intersection of America's new war and music at the mall. He didn't mind John Philip Sousa, he said. It's a break from the "Greensleeves" loop that's been playing for the past seven months. Besides, for store clerks, the biggest sacrifices are yet to come. In another week or so, Santa Claus is coming to the mall.