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Termination Of Bijou Art Cinemas' Lease Point Of Contention

Brian Bull

The operators of the Bijou Art Cinemas in Eugene are disputing claims that they “gave up” the business months ago, and are contesting the termination of their lease.

In an email shared with KLCC, Julie Blonshteyn and Catherine Moraetis say the matter between them, the Wilcox Building’s owner, and property manager The Jennings Group, will likely go to litigation.

Both women say while they shut the Bijou down last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were attempting to make partial payments, and exploring a possible new location for the venue.

Meanwhile, Darren Stone, co-owner of The Jennings Group, told The Register-Guard that they got a letter from Blonshteyn’s lawyer expressing her desire to end their lease. The paper reports that on December 16, 2020,  formal notice of the lease’s termination was sent to the Bijou owners after defaulted payments.

Blonshteyn says the dispute has soured their professional relationship with their landlords, and may seek a new location regardless of the litigation’s outcome.

The Bijou Art Cinemas has shown independent movies in Eugene since 1981. 

Copyright 2021, KLCC. 

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.