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Angelika says it’s looking for another location in Houston

The Chron notes that the relationship between the Angelika Theater and its landlord had deteriorated considerably.

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.

That story and this CultureMap blurb say that Angelika is looking for another Houston location. Clifford Pugh, who thought downtown was a bad fit for the Angelika theater, suggests some possible replacements for it at that location.

The only way for a downtown art house to survive is to offer the affluent moviegoing audience something they can’t find elsewhere. A unique movie and a unique moviegoing experience.

Alamo Drafthouse or Studio Movie Grill are logical replacement choices because they have married a food-and-beverage experience with the movies and have achieved spectacular results in the Houston suburbs. The Angelika has a full kitchen, but the theaters would have to reconfigured for a premium moviegoing experience. It’s gonna cost some bucks to do that because it will almost be like starting from scratch.

Alamo spokeswoman Lacy Smythe Edmundson won’t confirm rumors that the Austin-based theater chain is looking at the Angelika space. “At this time we are looking to explore inside-the-Loop and are exploring different possibilities,” she said.

Sundance Cinemas, a small chain affiliated with Robert Redford’s film project, and Sunrise Cinemas, a 58-screen Florida chain that specializes in independent films and hosts The Miami Jewish Film Festival, France Cinema Floride, The Israel Film Festival and The Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival are also rumored to be looking at the Angelika space. Other possibilities: Landmark, which owns the River Oaks Theatre, and the California-based ArcLight cinema chain.

In a vaguely worded statement Gary Rhodes, general manager of Bayou Place Limited Partnership, said, “We will be upgrading Angelika with an operator of the highest quality and we will be making the announcement shortly.”

We’ll see what happens. Where else do you think would be a good location for the Angelika? Leave a comment and let us know. Swamplot has more.

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