January 23, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Cirque du Soleil Seeks Return to Santa Monica in 2012:

The circus is unofficially coming back to town, as officials from Cirque du Soleil are plotting its return to Santa Monica.

With nine months before the spotlight beneath the big top would shine bright, the City of Santa Monica’s Community and Cultural Services Deptartment sought community input on Feb. 28 at the Ken Edwards Center on the proposed return of Cirque du Soleil. A handful of local businesses and residents attended the meeting in hopes of gaining greater perspective of Cirque du Soleil’s plans for staging its latest show – should it return to Santa Monica in 2012 – and voice their respective opinions about the internationally acclaimed French-Canadian artistically themed circus production.

Specifically, the community discussion focused on dealing with logistics of the proposed return of “the Cirque,” which would run its latest Santa Monica production from mid-January through late March in 2012; issues discussed included parking and traffic flow, signage, shuttle service, marketing and promotions, and promoting pier businesses.

“Extended–run cultural events in the 1550 lot (just north of the Santa Monica Pier, on the beach), such as Cirque du Soleil and “Ashes and Snow,” generate revenue to the City to maintain and improve Santa Monica Beach. These events also meet the community’s demand for cultural offerings and provide an economic benefit to the city by increasing retail and restaurant business,” Judith Meister, the City’s beach administrator, said. She went on to say that the net impact of the 2009 production of Cirque du Soleil in the City was approximately $16.7 million.

“Overall impact to the city … is direct revenues (and) … sales tax revenues and other revenues that are generated by people spend when they come to what Cirque du Soleil and around the city, as well as jobs,” Meister said.

If the Cirque’s proposal is ultimately approved by the Santa Monica City Council, the 10-week event will officially kick off on Jan. 20.

One resident who lives in the vicinity of the Pier who attended the community input session was not too thrilled with the prospect of Cirque du Soleil returning to Santa Monica.

“This is no longer a small company; this is now a huge corporation that’s global and employs thousand and thousands of people. There is absolutely no reason for it to be in Santa Monica,” resident John Weyand said. “There’s actually nothing that is positive about Cirque du Soleil coming to the Santa Monica area. There’s noise, there’s booming that goes on until midnight … this area is extremely congested … it just seems like we are cramming something into an area where there is no parking.”

Others in attendance, mostly representing business interests in the City, viewed the possible return of Cirque du Soleil as a positive move.

One business owner stated the major event brings up to 30 percent more business and substantial international attention to the city. Another business owner, Lynne Thomas of The Lobster, opined it does not make sense to host Cirque du Soleil anywhere but the pier area.

“The location is so key. You have walking distance to hotels and restaurants; you can’t really have it any more east,” Thomas said. “(The pier/downtown) area defines Santa Monica. For the Cirque to be in the most defined area of Santa Monica … is really what we’re looking for. We can’t pretend we’re not an amazing city.”

Of course, Cirque du Soleil’s presence in Santa Monica ultimately combines the positive and negative realities stated by the various speakers. A business survey was conducted of the impact of Cirque du Soleil on businesses in the pier and downtown regions and found some entertainment-themed venues actually lost money during the show’s 2009 run.

A decision about whether the Cirque actually does return to Santa Monica in 2012 is at least six weeks away. The Council is expected to consider Cirque du Soleil’s proposal at its April 12 meeting; in the meantime, Community and Culture Services will continue meeting with other groups throughout March, including pier officials and members of the Parks and Recreation Commission.

“We’re still in negotiation. We haven’t finalized our rental agreement, there are still some things we are working on, there is a lot of work that has to happen,” Meister said.

Cirque du Soleil had been in Santa Monica off and on since 1987; its most recent visit to the city was October through December 2009.

in News
Related Posts

SMa.r.t. Column: Saving a Failed Marriage – Part 2

January 22, 2021

January 22, 2021

Every 8 years, the state requires cities to update their planning code’s “housing element” to reflect the number of dwelling...

Rise of The Digital Nomads Changing The Way We Rent?

January 22, 2021

January 22, 2021

Today on Westside Real Estate Show* Matt Damon Lists Palisades home for $21 Million.* Rise of The Digital Nomads Changing...

Edify TV: COVID-19 Outbreak at Santa Monica Government Office

January 21, 2021

January 21, 2021

Over a dozen employees have tested positive for COVID-19 at a Santa Monica government building since January 1. Learn more...

Santa Monica Students Receive 2021 Education Awards from The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition

January 21, 2021

January 21, 2021

Seven area students were presented Education Awards by The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition at the first-ever...

Santa Monica New Roads Graduate Amanda Gorman Shines At Inauguration: Santa Monica Beat – January, 21, 2021

January 21, 2021

January 21, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Santa Monica New Roads Graduate Amanda Gorman Shines At Inauguration *...

Edify TV: Promenade Property Owner Frustrated With Homelessness

January 21, 2021

January 21, 2021

A Third Street Promenade property owner is calling Santa Monica officials to deal with the issue of homeless individuals sleeping...

65-Year-Old Santa Monica Pastry Shop Closes

January 21, 2021

January 21, 2021

Westside Food Scene January 21, 2021 By Kerry Slater Santa Monica Pastry Shop Closes  A beloved Santa Monica pastry shop...

Brian Dennehy Stars In The Tender DRIVEWAYS – His Final Film

January 21, 2021

January 21, 2021

What makes DRIVEWAYS particularly poignant is that it was Brian Dennehy’s last film before he died and his cinematic presence...

Free COVID-19 Antibody Testing in Santa Monica

January 20, 2021

January 20, 2021

Calvary Baptist Church on 20th Street, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A Santa Monica church is doing free COVID-19 antibody...

FDA-Authorized Coronavirus Testing at Santa Monica’s Shore Hotel

January 20, 2021

January 20, 2021

Drive-thru and walk-up testing seven-days a week   The award-winning Shore Hotel, located steps away from the world-famous Santa Monica Pier,...

City Council Has Appointed An 11 Member Civilian Police Oversight Commission: Santa Monica Beat – January, 17, 2021

January 19, 2021

January 19, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * City Council Has Appointed An 11 Member Civilian Police Oversight Commission...

Edify TV: Ticketing Maskless Angelenos?

January 19, 2021

January 19, 2021

Los Angeles lawmakers want to fine people for not wearing masks. Learn more in this video made possible by School...

Santa Monica Pier to Close, Farmers Market Shortened for Inauguration Day

January 19, 2021

January 19, 2021

Library curbside service suspended as well By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica is closing the Pier and shortening the farmers market’s...

Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel to Turn Amber as Part of Nationwide COVID-19 Memorial

January 18, 2021

January 18, 2021

Pacific Park joins nationwide COVID-19 memorial Tuesday night By Chad Winthrop The Santa Monica Pier ferris wheel will light up...

Video: 25K New Housing Units in LA?

January 17, 2021

January 17, 2021

With a massive spike in homelessness forecasted, LA lawmakers want to build 25,000 new housing units. Learn more in this...