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Theater Owner vs. Restaurateurs in Broadway Courtyard Battle

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Over the past few years, St. Vincent Court off Seventh near Broadway has been getting more and more crowded with outdoor tables from the surrounding restaurants and the wide alleyway has become quite the scene. Unfortunately, it's all illegal. Until this week, the city has let it go, but now the Downtown News reports that on Tuesday "officials from the Bureau of Street Services dispensed notices ordering the merchants to remove their outdoor tables within 24 hours. Even the court's longtime shoe-shiner was told to clear his stand." On Wednesday, the alley was cleared. The issue is that the alley is the only loading access for the Los Angeles Theatre "and the outdoor tables obstruct daytime access for trucks carrying gear for everything from filming operations to rock concerts."

The Delijani family, which owns the theater (and several others) and is planning a rehab, says the crowding in the alley has cost them majorly in lost filming revenue--if they want to film at the theater, productions have to rent an adjacent parking lot on Hill. After the Delijanis renovate, they plan to open the venue up to more events, so the alley has become a pressing concern. There have been attempts made at a compromise (widening the sidewalks for instance), but finally the family filed a complaint. Now the merchants are panicking (and saying they might make trouble when the Los Angeles needs film permits); they can still apply for conditional use permits for their sidewalk tables, but who knows if they'd be approved.

Incidentally, the 1931 Los Angeles will host a rare public event this weekend, when Cinespia hosts Romeo + Juliet as a benefit for the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation--the event sold out in less than a day. [Image via Yelp]
· City Cracks Down on St. Vincent Court Outdoor Tables [Downtown News]
· Four Historic Broadway Theaters Being Brought Back to Life [Curbed LA]