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November 14, 2017

Cinefamily Permanently Shuts Down After Sexual Harassment Allegations

Los Angeles-based movie venue Cinefamily has announced that it will permanently close in the wake of the sexual harassment allegations that led to the exit of executives Hadrian Belove and Shadie Elnashai.

The news comes after the popular venue suspended all its activities in August after the scandal hit. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Cinefamily board of directors made the decision to shutter the organization and dissolve the board.

“The damage caused to the organization by the conduct of some and the crippling debt now facing the Cinefamily are, in the Board’s view, irreparable,” the board of directors said in a statement at the conclusion of the investigation of the allegations.

The investigation found no evidence to support the assault accusations. It did uncover “breaches of acceptable behavior alleged to have happened at Cinefamily offices and events; a climate that discouraged employees and volunteers from reporting distressing workplace incidents and/or made them feel unheard if they did so; and critical lapses in communication from the executive management to the Board.” The board condemned the alleged inappropriate behavior  calling it  “utterly indefensible.”

The statement also says that although Cinefamily is shutting down, the Silent Movie Theatre, where all the events take place, will be closed and undergo renovations.

This year would have been the 10th anniversary of Cinefamily. The venue was a popular spot for independent cinema and special film-related events.

The sexual harassment allegations stem from an anonymous email that was sent to Cinefamily members which cited a 2014 case against co-founder and executive director Belove that ended in a settlement. The email also accused vice president of the board of directors Elnashai of “raping multiple women.” Shortly after the allegations were made public, the two resigned.

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