Council OKs Cirque Funds

The Los Angeles City Council has approved a plan to fund a $30 million retrofit of the city’s Kodak Theatre to house a Cirque du Soleil production.

CIM Group, which leases the 3,400-capacity Kodak at the company’s Hollywood & Highland mall, announced plans for a 10-year agreement with Cirque beginning in 2010. The cast would reportedly perform 368 shows per year.

The plan still awaits approval from the federal government and mayor of Los Angeles. However, if passed, CIM has said a Cirque tenancy at the venue could create more than 850 jobs in the city.

Shaul Kuba of CIM told the Los Angeles Times that income from shows at the Kodak is expected to bring in roughly $2.4 million this year, compared with more than $4 million in previous years. He said a Cirque show could provide a big boost to the center and tourism in the area.

“People are banking on the idea Cirque will be a successful attraction to new customers,” Kuba said. “It’s just nice when the theatre is operating. It’s like something grand is happening. You can see people dressed up and going out for dinner.”

If funding is approved for the Kodak, the Cirque show would shut down each year for the one-month period the venue is used to house the annual Academy Awards.