The Real Deal Los Angeles

Venice Beach Freakshow’s landlord won’t renew its lease

Founder blames Snapchat, corporate influx
May 01, 2017 11:45AM

Employees of the Venice Beach Freakshow in 2013 (Credit: Getty)

Many are calling it the final nail in Venice Beach’s freaky coffin.

The Venice Beach Freakshow, an 11-year fixture on the boardwalk, put on its final performance Sunday after its landlord — an entity known as “Snapshot Partners” — declined to renew its lease.

Freakshow founder Todd Ray said the landlord’s decision is yet another indication that Venice is losing its “funky, artistic vibe” to an influx of corporate businesses such as Snapchat, the Los Angeles Business Journal reported.

Snapshot Partners, which assumed a leasehold interest in Freakshow’s storefront at 909 Ocean Front Walk in March 2016, is not connected to Snap, according to Ray. Rather, it’s managed by Michael Schlesinger, who co-founded Beverly Hills real estate firm Cambra Realty, according to business records examined by the Los Angeles Times.

Freakshow is the only remaining ground-floor tenant at 909 Ocean Front. Its space will now be turned into offices, Ray said.

He lamented the loss of Venice’s counterculture vibe in particularly colorful terms.

“I’m standing there with a two-headed turtle in a container getting sunlight, and they’ll be walking right in front of me, and I’ll say, look, do you see the two-headed turtle, it’s alive! They won’t even lower their eyes and look into the container to see the two-headed turtle,” he said, “Have you Googled so much that you think you’ve seen it all?” [LABJ] [LAT]Cathaleen Chen