Things are still a total mess in weird and kitschy St. Vincent Court, the pedestrian alley off Seventh near Broadway. For years, the businesses on the street (illegally) put out chairs and tables for patrons, but last month the Delijani family, which owns the adjacent Los Angeles Theatre, complained to the city and got it all shut down. Now the businesses say they're hurting bad; one owner tells the Downtown News that business is down about 70 percent since the crackdown (he's started handing out business cards that say "HELP US!!!" with contact info for the local city councilmember). The root of the dispute lies in parking and filming--"Some merchants, primarily the two eateries closest to the theater, have demanded fees from production companies filming in the theater while making it difficult for them to get in and out of the venue," according to Shahram Delijani; he in turn had asked for a contract "granting him exclusive parking access for two 72-foot trucks at the north end of the alley," which abuts St. Vincent Jewelry Center, owned by Peklar Pilavjian (in exchange, Delijani would've supported a plan to widen the sidewalks and officially allow outdoor dining in the alley). Pilavjian says he wants to keep his rights to potentially develop that area (although he has no plans to right now). Meanwhile, Delijani is trying to open the Los Angeles as an event venue on a more frequent and regular schedule. The alley merchants are currently "organizing a petition they plan to submit to FilmL.A. that will urge the agency that coordinates film permits for the city not to grant alley parking approvals for Los Angeles Theatre productions."
· As St. Vincent Court Fight Endures, Merchants Suffer [Downtown News]
· Theater Owner vs. Restaurateurs in Broadway Courtyard Battle [Curbed LA]