04 March 2009

Another one Bites the Dust.

Crain's NY
by: Miriam Kreinin Souccar

photo: ALANE GOLDEN, c. 2009.

March 04, 2009 3:28 PM

Premier NY Prop Rental Company to File for Bankruptcy.

Buckled by the recession and other factors, Props for Today will seek protection from its creditors. The prop supplier owes $900,000 in back rent.

Props for Today, a 28-year-old prop house that supplies furnishings for productions like 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live, is expected to file for bankruptcy protection in the next week or so, a victim of the deepening recession, last year’s writers’ strike, and the loss of a state tax break.

The impending bankruptcy was disclosed in a bankruptcy filing by Props for Today’s parent company, Interieurs Inc., on Tuesday. Another of Interieurs’ companies, Props for Yesterday, is also expected to file for bankruptcy protection soon.

Dyann Klein, owner of the companies, is seeking to reorganize after a particularly difficult period.

The decrease of film making and television in New York, which began with the writers' strike and has continued and been escalated by the loss of the tax incentives, has impacted everybody in this industry," Ms. Klein said. “I believe I will be able to implement necessary changes in reorganization in Chapter 11 and emerge as a much stronger, healthy company that will continue to be the leader in prop rentals in the industry for years to come.

Props for Today is one of the premier prop rental companies in New York City. Given the ups and downs of the local production industry, it diversified into new businesses over the years, like renting out furniture for weddings and special events.

The last month has been especially hard for New York’s TV and film production businesses because the state’s tax incentive program ran out of money. No pilots were filmed in New York , and the city has already lost one television series, Fringe, which is relocating production to Vancouver.

According to Interieurs’ Chapter 11 filing, the company owes about $900,000 in rent on its 83,000-square-foot space on W. 34th Street to Vornado, its landlord.

Annual rent on the property is about $1.5 million. In December, Vornado initiated a non-payment proceeding against Interieurs in the Civil Court of the City of New York, seeking possession of the premises, according to the filing.


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