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Promoter Placed on Probation : Theater: A judge orders Kevin Von Feldt to make restitution to ticket holders, pay fine and court costs.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The final curtain on Kevin Von Feldt’s attempt to bring big-time musical and dramatic theater to the San Fernando Valley occurred Monday in Los Angeles Municipal Court.

The would-be impresario pleaded no contest to a charge of untrue and misleading advertising in connection with the North Hollywood Renaissance Theatre series, which was supposed to present name performers in productions of well-known shows.

Court commissioner Joseph Spada put Von Feldt on three years probation and ordered him to pay a fine of $750 plus $1,012.50 in court costs. He could have been sentenced to a jail term of six months and ordered to pay as much as $2,500 in fines.

Von Feldt was ordered to make restitution to any ticket holders who had not received a refund.

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In April, Von Feldt sent out 25,000 flyers and took out a newspaper advertisement to sell tickets to the series, which promised “The Music Man,” “Death of a Salesman” and other shows with performers such as John Davidson, Don Rickles and Noel Harrison.

The series, which was supposed to debut May 7 at the old El Portal movie theater, never opened.

The city attorney’s office took action against Von Feldt last month, charging that tickets went on sale before he was amply prepared to put on the shows.

“He had no authority to use many of the actors’ names in his advertising,” said Deputy City Atty. Ellen Pais. Von Feldt also had not secured the necessary union agreements, building permits or author’s agreements to put on the productions.

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“It was pretty apparent that there was no way he could pull off the production at the time he said he was going to,” Pais said.

Von Feldt, who was jailed in 1987 on similar charges in connection with a failed airline and a classic movie series, represented himself in court.

Von Feldt, who manages the Ritz movie theater in Hollywood, said he is not ruling out getting back into live theater.

“But there is no way I would ever be involved unless the entire budget was covered before the theater opened,” he said.

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Pais said that any ticket holders who have not received a refund can file a claim through the city attorney’s office before an Oct. 21 hearing on the matter.


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