Los Angeles—November 19, 2007—Cirque du Soleil and CIM Group announced today that Cirque du Soleil will open a major new show at Kodak Theatre, home of the Academy Awards®, in 2010.
The $100 million production is the centerpiece of a 10-year agreement between the two companies. A cast of 75 performing artists will present the show in the 3,400-seat theatre 368 times a year, and while few details about the production's content are available now, Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté announced that it would focus on Hollywood's place in the history of cinema.
"Hollywood movies are important in so many ways, artistically, culturally and socially," Laliberté noted. "They don't just entertain, they inform, inspire and move audiences all around the world. They've changed the way we think and the way we live, and they've certainly had a positive influence on Cirque du Soleil."
"We are thrilled to have found such a spectacular home in LA," added Laliberté. "The city is at the forefront not only of film, but music, architecture and art as well. This is also a kind of homecoming for us. Our international career started right here when we brought a show called We Reinvent the Circus to the LA Festival for opening night on September 3, 1987. At the time we were broke. We liter ally had no money to put gas in our truck to go back home if we failed. We said, 'We live or die in LA.' And when I saw movie stars - household names - actually standing in line to buy tickets, I began to think maybe there was a possibility we might live!"
Cirque's partner in the venture, as announced today is CIM Group, the owner of Hollywood & Highland Center where Kodak Theatre is located. "Cirque du Soleil is an internationally renowned performance company. Bringing a permanent show to the Kodak Theatre is a tremendous attraction for both residents and tourists," said Shaul Kuba, founder and principal, CIM Group. "This commitment from Cirque du Soleil is another significant milestone in the continuing rebirth of Hollywood as a flourishing community with a vibrant daytime and nighttime population."
Since its debut in Los Angeles 20 years ago, Cirque du Soleil has brought nine touring shows to the area. During this time, more than three million people have attended the 1,360 performances.
"Hollywood is the home of the stars, and it's only fitting that Cirque du Soleil would someday dwell at the home of the Academy Awards - Kodak Theatre," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "For 23 years, Cirque du Soleil's trademark brand of imaginative entertainment has captivated audiences ar ound the world. Now, the circus is coming to our town and the people of Los Angeles can't wait."
In 2002 Cirque du Soleil designed, produced and performed a special act as part of the 74th Academy Awards®. Cirque will share Kodak Theatre with The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the new show will step aside to make room for the Academy Awards® each year.
"Cirque du Soleil's ten-year commitment reaffirms Hollywood standing as the entertainment capital of the world. We're proud to welcome what is sure to be a captivating show and we invite everyone to come experience our exciting, revitalized Hollywood," said Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti, whose district includes Hollywood.
About Cirque du Soleil
From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is now a major Quebec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. The company has close to 4,000 employees from over 40 different countries, including 1,000 artists.
Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to close to 70 million spectators in close 200 cities on five continents. In 2007, Cirque du So leil will present 15 shows simultaneously throughout the world. The company has received such prestigious awards as the Emmy, Drama Desk, Bambi, ACE, Gémeaux, Félix, and Rose d'Or de Montreux. Cirque du Soleil International Headquarters are in Montreal, Canada. For more information visit: www.cirquedusoleil.com
About CIM Group
Founded in 1994, CIM Group is a full-service private equity real estate investor. The company applies its multidisciplinary expertise in the areas of investment and development, mezzanine financing, fund management, commercial leasing and property management. CIM has successfully identified and invested in some of the most vibrant transitional urban districts in North America based on its integrated approach to investing that utilizes its broad based in-house capabilities and deep market knowledge.
CIM specializes in high-density urban communities, bringing its extensive real estate experience to a diverse array of asset categories including mixed-use, office, retail, hotel, entertainment and multifamily. Headquartered in Los Angeles, CIM maintains regional offices in San Francisco and Bethesda, Maryland.&nbs p; CIM Group acquired the Hollywood & Highland Center in February 2004. For more information visit: http://www.cimgroup.com/
About the Kodak Theatre
Kodak Theatre is the crown jewel of the Hollywood & Highland Center retail, dining and entertainment complex located in the heart of historic Hollywood. The 3,400 seat theatre opened in November 2001 and soon became known to more than one billion people across the globe as the first permanent home of the Academy Awards®. Built at a cost of $94 million, Kodak Theatre was designed by the internationally-renowned Rockwell Group to be as glamorous as its onstage artists and celebrity guests, yet capable of serving the enormous technical needs of a live worldwide television broadcast on Oscar® night. The naming of Kodak Theatre, in a 20-year marketing partnership with Eastman Kodak Co., was one of the most significant non-sports corporate sponsorships in history. For more information visit: http://www.kodaktheatre.com
A Few Cirque du Soleil Statistics