UPDATE, 1:15 PM Saturday: Hollywood & Highland and Dolby Theatre owner CIM said today it will continue payments on the $30 million loan provided by Los Angeles city officials to lure Cirque du Soleil to the theater. CIM Group spokeswoman Karen Diehl issued a statement saying payments would be made as scheduled on the city loan OK’d by the City Council and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “The loan is current, and CIM will repay the entire obligation of the loan in full,” the statement said.
PREVIOUSLY, 5:43 PM Friday: The Dolby Theatre will need to find a new tenant after the Oscars. Cirque du Soleil‘s IRIS, which has been the theater’s main tenant since Dolby took over sponsorship of the former Kodak Theatre on May 1, is closing earlier than expected. “After close to 500 well received shows at the world renowned Dolby Theatre, the last performance of Cirque du Soleil’s IRIS will be January 19, 2013. Despite phenomenal reviews and enthusiastic audience response, demand has not met projections”, Cirque senior director of communications Renée-Claude Ménard told Deadline in a statement late today. IRIS was originally scheduled to temporarily stop production on January 26, 2013, to allow time for set up of the Oscar show on February 24. IRIS was then expected to return to the Dolby in March to continue its run, but that now clearly is not going to happen. Ménard added that they would “redeploy as many of our artists and employees as possible to other Cirque du Soleil projects”. A 20-year deal was announced between Dolby and property owners CIM on May 1 that was contingent on the Academy Awards remaining at the venue. The Academy signed a 20-year deal with CIM the same day. Neither Dolby nor CIM responded to request for comment.