Los Angeles Business Journal

Weighing Higher Rents

Rents in San Francisco are skyrocketing, but renters are still willing to pay more for earthquake retrofitting, renter advocates say. The Los Angeles Times reports that the city’s experience may be helpful to Los Angeles.

Arcadia Councilman Resigns Amid Controversy

After state and federal investigations have been launched against Gemcoin, a digital currency company that Arcadia City Councilman John Wuo had reportedly endorsed, Wuo resigned at a council meeting Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Female Designers at Mattel

El Segundo toymaker Mattel Inc.is now focusing on having women design the company's new dolls based on DC Comics' female super heroes. The aim is to keep the dolls beautiful with less of an emphasis on making them sexy, Bloomberg reports.

Banning Paparazzi Drones

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Tuesday that will ban paparazzi from sending drones above someone's property to take a photo or record video, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Carmike to Buy Sundance Cinemas

Carmike Cinemas, the Columbus, Ga.-based theater chain, announced it will buy upscale theater chain Sundance Cinemas, founded by movie star Robert Redford for $36 million, including the Sundance Sunset in West Hollywood, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Grown-Up Slumber Party

If you’re missing those sleepovers from your childhood, now’s your chance to reminisce as the Natural History Museum is hosting an adult sleepover for Halloween, LAist reports. Guests can bring their own pajamas and sleeping bags and participate in a gallery scavenger hunt or be entertained by a DJ while sipping on craft beer and wine.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 153 points in early trading Wednesday to 16,943. The S&P 500 was up 17 points to 1997. The Nasdaq was up 33 points to 4,781. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 223.

Lions Gate to Buy Starz?

Santa Monica’s Lions Gate Entertainment is in talks to merge with pay-TV channel Starz, according to sources familiar with the matter, the Los Angeles Times reports. A merger could benefit Lions Gate’s TV business and help boost Starz’s programming. However, while the two companies have been holding discussions for months, they could opt to form partnerships instead of merging.

Hurdles for American Apparel

While downtown L.A. clothing maker American Apparel Inc. has filed for bankruptcy, it may not be enough to rescue the struggling company, the Los Angeles Times reports. The company’s restructuring agreement would allow it to continue to manufacture its clothes in the United States and solve its cash flow problem, but other problems remain, including unhappy workers and – significantly – how to regain young consumers.

Varied Pricing Could Come to Disneyland

The Walt Disney Co., which on Sunday announced a new annual pass that costs more than $1,000, is now weighing whether to raise ticket prices during peak times such as Christmas, spring break and summer to help offset the long lines, the Los Angeles Times reports. While some Disney fans are not pleased about the price hikes, many do not expect attendance to drop much.

L.A. Sued Over Marilyn Monroe House

The city is being sued over the demolition of Marilyn Monroe’s former home in the San Fernando Valley so that a five-unit condo can be built, the Los Angeles Times reports. But the complaint goes beyond the loss of a potential historic spot; the lawsuit argues that the Los Angeles City Council routinely backs any development project supported by the council member representing the district. Such allegedly hasty decision-making has gotten the city in trouble – such as the time the courts invalidated approvals for a Hollywood high-rise already occupied by tenants.

Big Money for ZestFinance

Hollywood’s ZestFinance just secured a $150-million credit line from New York's Fortress Investment Group, the Los Angeles Times reports. The deal will allow the company to fund more loans at lower interest rates to borrowers who may not have the best credit and not qualify for loans from other online lenders.

Trade Deal May Be Good for California

Now that the 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal has been reached, some big businesses in California, namely pharmaceuticals and entertainment firms, could profit if the agreement is approved by Congress, the Los Angeles Times reports. Farmers statewide could also benefit since they would be able to increase their rice and dairy exports to Japan.

‘Boo at the Zoo’

Who said Halloween can only be celebrated for one day? The Los Angeles Zoo is hosting its annual “Boo at the Zoo” every weekend this month, NBC Los Angeles reports. During the event, kids can watch pumpkin-carving demonstrations, meet spooky costumed characters and visit the zoo’s “Graveyard Safari.”

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 51 points in early trading Tuesday to 16,827. The S&P 500 was down one points to 1,987. The Nasdaq was down 18 points to 4,764. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 222.