This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Los Angeles-based movie venue, Cinefamily, but instead of celebrating, the non-profit cinematheque's board of directors announced that it would be downing shutters soon.
The venue, which became a popular spot for repertory and independent film exhibition in the city, will be shutting shop permanently and dissolving its board, which includes actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt. This is in the wake of sexual assault allegations against Cinefamily executives that led to the departure of two of them.
"The damage caused to the organization by the conduct of some and the crippling debt now facing The Cinefamily are, in the Board's view, irreparable," the board said in a statement, citing that after conducting an "exhaustive analysis of the organization's current operational, reputational and financial status," it had decided to officially shut down Cinefamily for good.
The company also noted in its statement that although no victims came forward to verify the sexual assault allegations, the investigation raised serious concerns regarding violations of acceptable behavior at the workplace such as creating a toxic work environment that dissuaded employees from reporting distressing workplace incidents or making them feel unheard even if they did; and significant communication gaps between the executive management and the Board.
The move comes months after the organization temporarily suspended operations after a series of anonymous emails emerged accusing the company's executives of sexual misconduct and rape.
The emails, which came to light weeks before the Harvey Weinstein scandal rocked Hollywood, included details of a 2014 sexual assault lawsuit against executive creative director and co-founder Hadrian Belove that ended in settlement and also accused board member Shadie Elnashai of raping multiple women.
Not long after the allegations surfaced, more troubling stories involving the Cinefamily executives emerged with one volunteer claiming that Belove told her to hire attractive girls that he would want to have sex while another alleged that she saw the executive receiving oral sex from another Cinefamily volunteer. Belove denied the allegations and resigned along with Elnashai on Aug. 22.
Room actress Brie Larson, who is a Cinefamily supporter and founder of Women of Cinefamily in 2014, posted a statement on Twitter saying that she found the allegations "upsetting" and was cutting ties to the organization.
The Silent Movie Theater, which has housed Cinefamily for years, will be closed for renovation by its landlord, while the board appoints a transition team to take care of the organization's financial and legal matters.