Cirque du Soleil's "Iris," which opened in September 2011 at Hollywood & Highland's Dolby Theatre with a $30 million loan from the city, will close Jan. 19 due to disappointing ticket sales.
A spokeswoman for the theater's owner, CIM Group, said the $30 million loan will be repaid even if the show folds its tent.
Three years ago, the city's Community Development Department made a $30 million loan to a partnership set up by the CIM Group, which owns the theater and the rest of the Hollywood & Highland Center, to help make over the partly city-developed venue, then known as the Kodak Theater.
Cirque du Soleil had hoped to keep the movie-themed show running longer, and city officials hoped to keep the "Iris" as a long-term tenant.
Tickets prices have fluctuated. The latest prices on the website range from $43 to $133.
In a statement first reported by the Los Angeles Times, CIM Group said Saturday that "the loan (payment) is current, and CIM will repay the entire obligation to the city in full."
Renee-Claude Menard of Cirque told the Times the company spent $50 million to $55 million to produce the show. She said the cost of renovating the theater, reported to be $40 million, was paid by the CIM Group.
"We put a huge effort into marketing and overseas marketing, but nothing would tilt the needle," Menard said. "The L.A. market is not ready for a permanent show."
She declined to say how much money the company would lose on "Iris" because Cirque is exploring the possibility of taking the show to other cities.
The company said it would "redeploy as many of our artists and employees as possible to other Cirque du Soleil projects." "Iris" employed almost 70 performers along with 100 to 120 other individuals, including technicians and support staff.