Below, two Friends of Unfair Park wonder if the shuttering of the Angelika Film Center in Houston yesterday is a sneak preview of bad news heading for the Dallas and Plano locations. Good question. So I asked Ellen Cotter, Angelika's Manhattan-based chief operating officer -- who's in Houston at this very moment, actually, closing down the 13-year-old location.
"Everything in Dallas is fine," she tells Unfair Park. "The Plano theater's fine. The New York theater's fine. This is an isolated incident." (Or, as Culturemap Houston puts it this afternoon: "Meanwhile, in Dallas, Angelika is thriving, with two multiplexes in the trendy lower Greenville area and affluent Plano. I have a hard time believing Dallas is that much more open to independent cinema than Houston.")
Cotter explains: The downtown Houston location's lease was terminated by the landlord, Bayou Place Limited Partnership. She says the landlord gave the Angelika 30 days notice to scoot -- as in, "This letter shall constitute notice that Bayou Place Limited Partnership is terminating Bayou Cinemas, LP's month to month tenancy effective September 18, 2010," per Angelika's press release. (The landlord, in a conflicting release, insists otherwise: "We had hoped that they would stay longer but unfortunately, after saying they would commit, Angelika changed its mind." Cotter disputes that version.)
Cotter says "we enjoyed being down there, and we probably would have stayed, but they terminated our lease. But it's been a great run, and we'll look for another place in Houston. We've been bringing independent films here for 13 years, and hopefully we'll find another location. But the message for the Dallas readers is: Our locations there are fine."