Change of Crest Theatre Operator Raises Concerns in Local Film Community

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SACRAMENTO-

The building has been a part of Sacramento's landscape since the 1900s with the Crest Theatre's opening night in 1949.

In 1986, Sid Garcia-Heberger started managing the historic theatre.

Garcia-Heberger has been synonymous with the Crest and the new reality is that's slated to change.

"We worked in the background to bring the two sides together to see if they could keep the existing management," said Tyler Edwards-Lohse, the President of Sacramento International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. "We know now, as of this weekend, that isn't happening.

The current owner of the building, Robert Emerick, increased the rent and expects the current management group, CSLM, Inc., to continue paying maintenance costs.

CSLM released this statement: "We met on Saturday with our mediator, Anna Niemann, and we were unable to craft an agreement with the building owner."

That leaves festival promoters like Edwards-Lohse in some degree of limbo.

He's not sure the if the incoming operator, Emerick's fiancé can bring the same level of expertise to the theatre.

"The issue is Yulya hasn't run a theatre. How is she going to take 28 years of knowledge and run it? What`s going to happen with the employees?" Edwards-Lohse said.

Emerick responded to FOX40's request for comment with an emailed statement:

"The Crest Theater is a cultural and architectural gem for our City and we are committed to its continued success which means investing in both maintenance and a high standard of operations. From our perspective, we've done everything possible and explored every avenue with the current tenant. However, this must be balanced against the long term future of the Crest Theater. Discussions, which occurred as recently as this past weekend, unfortunately have not brought us any closer to common ground. We will forge ahead to provide quality entertainment while protecting the future of this landmark."

CSLM, Inc., is slated to end their terms with Crest Theatre on October 31, 2014.