Court snuffs out Lookouts fireworks

Court snuffs out Lookouts fireworks

August 8th, 2010 by Judy Walton in Local Regional News

Fireworks shows at Lookouts games are on hold after owners of the Majestic 12 Cinema downtown complained that smoke from the blasts triggers the building's smoke alarms.

On July 23, filmgoers at the Majestic reported that the fire alarms went off during a late showing. Some said employees blamed smoke from the fireworks show at AT&T Field that got into the theater's heating and air conditioning system.

Friday, Hamilton County Chancellor Frank Brown issued a restraining order that stops the Lookouts from "setting off fireworks which generate smoke sufficient to trigger the fire alarm at the Theater (sic)."

But exactly how much smoke is that?

"I don't understand the order as it's worded," Lookouts owner Frank Burke said Saturday.

After the July 23 incident, Majestic Assistant Manager Lee Smith said the same thing had happened "two or three times" since the theater opened this year.

"When they were shooting them off, the whole street was full of smoke and filled up the upper floor. It jammed our fire alarm and shut down the projector," Smith told the Chattanooga Times Free Press at the time.

Burke said he doesn't know if Lookouts fireworks are to blame, but he says he's put on 100 to 150 fireworks shows over 11 years at the stadium without a problem until now.

"This Friday night's show is in jeopardy until we have a hearing," said Burke, who hopes to get the hearing moved up from its 8 a.m. Aug. 23 court date.

Burke said he couldn't comment further until he can speak with his attorneys.

A manager on duty at the theater Saturday declined to comment. He referred questions to Dale Hurst in the company's corporate headquarters in Carrollton, Ga.

There was no response to a message left for Mr. Hurst on Saturday.

Chattanooga attorney John P. Konvalinka, who sought the order for Majestic, also did not return calls seeking comment.