LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Downey Civic Light Opera

Dear Editor: Many have wondered about the reasons for Downey Civic Light Opera closing.

The city of Downey did not keep its word that the DCLO could continue with their non-profit status of 58 years. VenueTech management company would not guarantee regular definite dates. VenueTech planned to more than double the rent.

DCLO had paid a total of $893,017 since year 2000. The city has lost many days of occupancy without DCLO and VenueTech has been unable to fill them. VenueTech insisted on taking all tickets of the DCLO (subscription list, group sales, exchange, single ticket sales...) DCLO would have had to wait two weeks after the run of a show to receive a reconciliation check with deductions made for rent, box office, printing and an additional dollar for each ticket sold.

VenueTech in their Northern California theaters have never had a resident producing musical company so they did not understand that there are daily operating expenses. why would the city allow an outside company to simply take financial control of an independent non-profit organization that was handling its finances well? Especially since VenueTech has no experience producing shows. They simply book one-night events using city money. When the one-nighters don’t pay for themselves, the city absorbs the costs.

If the city had allowed DCLO to continue, they would have had up to $145,000 in revenue, and as many have pointed out, huge ancillary benefits to local hotels, restaurants, shops, etc. A good analogy would be a business park kicking out IBM in favor of a taco stand. The city did, however, give a gift totaling $105,000 for “Discover Downey” and the Stay Gallery. Where is the common sense?

Dare I mention again the incident at the theater regarding Mr. Garza of the Grammy Award-winning group Los Lonely Boys, who fell 10 feet into an orchestra pit that was left uncovered, was hospitalized and missed concerts for months. I’m sure a lawsuit is coming.

Will Downey have to bail out VenueTech for this gross mismanagement? People wishing to express their discontent with VenueTech can write their headquarters at 2269 Chestnut St., No. 960, San Francisco, CA 94123. Email is info@venuetech.com.

Mike Sanburn Bellflower



Published: July 24, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 15