Category Archives: Entertainment

You don’t say

“Sorry for the delays. But you know, it’s like anything, the longer you go without it, the more exciting it is when you get to see it again.”

Loony Bin partner Jeff Jones on how the comedy club probably won’t reopen in its new downtown spot until 2014

Loony Bin closes deal for downtown space

UPDATED — As expected, the owners of the Loony Bin closed a deal this week to buy the 13,000-square-foot building between First and Second streets on St. Francis across from the urban park on the southeast corner of Second and St. Francis.

“We hope to get open probably early fall, September or October at the latest, I would say,” says partner Jeff Jones.

The Loony Bin had been at 21st and Woodlawn in Oxford Square from 1999 until it closed in late March.

The new space is two buildings — one a single story and one that’s two stories — that are attached.

The 3,400-square-foot single-story space is where the comedy club will be. It will hold about 150, which is down from the 299 that the previous space held.

“Although that was pretty optimistic,” Jones says.

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Loony Bin deal is close to closing

WICHITA — The final contract is yet to be signed, but Loony Bin co-owner Larry Marks is confident the club will open on St. Francis downtown as early as September.

“It looks like we’re rolling ahead there,” he says.

“We are due to close on it in about a couple of weeks.”

Last month, Have You Heard? reported that Marks and his partner, Jeff Jones, are interested in a 13,000-square-foot building between First and Second streets on St. Francis across from the urban park on the southeast corner of Second and St. Francis. Their Loony Bin had been at 21st and Woodlawn until it closed in late March.

They’re looking to do more than comedy in the new space.

“We may expand our entertainment format a little bit,” Marks says.

He says that could be trivia nights, improv and “even newlywed games and all kinds of stuff.”

There also will be room in the building to possibly do retail or to use the space for an office or apartments.

Marks says he and Jones are considering proposals and should make a decision on the extra space within 60 days.

You don’t say

“You need to get out more, girl.”

– What jazz musician Esperanza Spalding said to Greteman Group’s Carol Farrow when Farrow told Spalding her Orpheum Theatre concert this week was one of the best she’d ever seen

Crown Uptown Theatre management group faces state tax delinquencies in addition to a federal lien

WICHITA — An almost $62,000 federal tax lien isn’t all the group running the Crown Uptown Theatre is facing.

Earlier this week, Have You Heard? reported that Uptown Management Group, which took over the theater near Douglas and Hillside in 2009, is behind on federal taxes.

According to state figures filed this week, the group also owes almost $84,000 in state taxes.

“Well that’s not accurate because they’re estimating,” says Robert Brinkley, the group’s manager.

He can’t say how much the group owes.

“We’re still working out the details. I really don’t want to say something that’s inaccurate.”

Brinkley says he doesn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea, though.

“I can tell you this . . . we’re moving forward.”

One thing that hasn’t moved forward is the costume shop Brinkley previously told Have You Heard? that he planned.

He hoped to open Uptown Emporium & Costume Shop in the former Persian Bazaar space next to Crown Uptown. Brinkley says he planned to have it open by Halloween.

“We just didn’t get it done in time.”

He can’t say if he’ll open it this year.

“I don’t know.”

Crown Uptown Theatre has an almost $62,000 tax lien

WICHITA — Crown Uptown Theatre is almost $62,000 behind in federal taxes, but Robert Brinkley says he’s on a payment plan and that the business won’t be affected.

“Our doors are open, and we remain in business,” he says. “We are planning on having a successful future here.”

Brinkley is president of Uptown Management Group, which took over the theater near Douglas and Hillside in 2009.

He says the delinquent taxes are from 2009 and early 2010.

“I had a bookkeeper here who wasn’t keeping up on it,” Brinkley says.

He says he’s fired that person.

“It’s real frustrating for me right now,” Brinkley says.

He says if it were a busier time of the year — such as the holiday season — he would have written a check to cover the taxes.

“We use that business to help us survive through the first three lean months of the year,” Brinkley says.

“We’re just treading water till we get to the busy time of our business.”

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Billy Joel and Elton John likely to be Intrust Bank Arena’s premier concert for 2010


WICHITA — There’s a 2 p.m. Monday press conference scheduled to announce a major rock act coming to Intrust Bank Arena.

There’s no confirmation, but it looks likely that Billy Joel and Elton John are bringing their Face 2 Face tour here.

They’re performing in Denver on Feb. 22 at the Pepsi Center. Then, they’re performing at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City on Feb. 25 and at the Sprint Center in Kansas City on Feb. 27.

An employee with Live Nation, which represents Joel and John, confirms that there will be an announcement coming from the company.

The employee won’t give other details except to say, “It’s going to be a big show.”

Arena spokeswoman Beth King says she’s not at liberty to talk details.

“The press conference is being hosted by a promoter and not the arena,” she says.

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Nu-Tek creates cockpit for the “Wichita” film

WICHITA — Nu-Tek, which repairs aircraft instruments and restores simulators, is involved with the Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz movie that has the working title “Wichita.”

“One of the reasons why we really wanted to take this on is because, well, of the title,” says owner Steve Cannaby.

Nu-Tek has been hired to create a glass cockpit and an interactive panel featuring lights to make it look like a working cockpit.

“They’re doing a action scene in a . . . 727 cockpit,” Cannaby says. “There’s some sort of a, like, shoot-out or something that’s supposed to happen in the cockpit.”

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Frida’s Mexican Grill granted rezoning request

WICHITA — The soap opera is over.

Last month, Frida’s Mexican Grill owner Mario Quiroz told Have You Heard?, “We can make a soap opera right now,” because of struggles to get proper zoning for a special events room.

When Quiroz first opened, he planned to use the extra space for a comedy club. When plans changed, he learned he didn’t have the right zoning for dancing.

The city now has approved the zoning, and Quiroz is simply waiting for an entertainment license so customers can have parties with dancing and his extra room can be put to better use.

“Life is smiling at me a little bit,” a happy Quiroz says.

His restaurant near Thai Binh grocery on West 21st opened in April 2008 but has suffered recently because of bridge repairs in the area and the inability to fully utilize the extra room.

“It was really hard,” Quiroz says.

But he says even the struggle led to a lot of good networking for him. For instance, next week he’ll join the Crime Stoppers board.

“It’s getting better,” Quiroz says, “step by step.”

Tallgrass Film Festival can’t use the Old Town Warren Theatre this year

WICHITA — The Tallgrass Film Festival won’t be held at the Old Town Warren Theatre this year.

“It was pretty staggering for us when we first found out, but we’re rebounding,” says Ann Keefer, president of the Wichita Association for the Motion Picture Arts.

Bill (Warren) is still a big supporter of the film festival,” says theater spokesman Ben Sciortino. “He’s been one of their lead supporters and champions of it for the last six years.”

The issue, Sciortino says, is Old Town’s new all-digital theaters and the contracts Warren has to show films in them.

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