Detroit, Michigan: Legal Drama Surrounds Outdoor Movie Screens

Outdoor Movies in Detoit, MichiganIt's been about three years since any films lit up the night at the Silverdome Drive-In, but a drama longer than a triple-feature movie marathon continues to play out in Oakland Circuit Court. A Farmington Hills-based organization called the Theater Group Inc. filed a complaint this week seeking to claim three 45-by-80-foot movie screens and other property that remain at the Silverdome that they purchased last month from the former drive-in operator, Movies at the Drive-In. Failing that, they want the city of Pontiac -- which owns the Silverdome -- to cough up $60,000, the estimated value of the equipment. A city attorney on the case could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but Neil Strefling, attorney for the Theater Group, believes the city has no right to hang on to the property. "It's been their (city's) position that the people whom my clients bought the equipment from -- Movies at the Drive In -- are indebted to the city for some reason," Strefling said. "I don't know if that's true, but even if it is, that doesn't mean they get to keep all this property. We have a bill of sale that says they paid for it and they want it." Movies at the Drive-In could not be reached for comment Wednesday. According to the complaint, which is assigned to Oakland Circuit Judge Rudy J. Nichols, the Theater Group paid $60,000 for a concession trailer, three flat lenses, three scope lenses, three platters, three FM radio transmitters, three movie screens, a fence, a portable fence, one inflatable slide and a 20,000-kilowatt diesel generator. Strefling said he did not know what the group plans to do with the equipment. The Silverdome Drive-In opened in October 2003 with screenings of a double feature "Duplex" and "Kill Bill." The drive-in, which closed down in 2006 for financial reasons, was one of a series of efforts to find some use for the parking lot which laid empty after the Silverdome's long-time occupants, the Detroit Lions, packed up and moved to Ford Field in Detroit. Source:

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