Fireworks solution still caught in clouds

Fireworks solution still caught in clouds

August 14th, 2010 by Pam Sohn in News

Tests were inconclusive Friday night about whether local moviegoers were interrupted at the new Majestic 12 Theater when fireworks flew after the Chattanooga Lookouts game.

A third party's proposed fix was implemented at the city's newest downtown attraction when the Lookouts' after-game pyrotechnics show took place.

Thad Morton of Camike Cinemas said, "We remain hopeful that the third party's proposed changes will lead to a successful interim solution until a permanent resolution can be achieved. The most important thing for all of us is that Chattanoogans were able to safely enjoy an evening of entertainment at the movies or watch fireworks after the ballgame."

Local firefighters suggested more tests be conducted.

On July 4 and July 23, the fireworks shows after a home baseball game generated heavy smoke downtown that triggered smoke alarms at the 12-screen theater at 311 Broad St., shutting down projectors and forcing patrons outside.

Last week the theater's parent company, Carmike Cinemas Inc., obtained a temporary injunction to stop the fireworks.

"Carmike is in business to make money and between these two events, we had to refund over $5,000 in ticket and concession sales to our customers," said Lee Champion, senior vice president and general counsel of Carmike Cinemas.

On Wednesday, Frank Burke, owner of the Scenic City Baseball and the Lookouts, had attorneys file a motion to dissolve the order before Friday's game.

"The business of baseball depends on prior (ticket) sales," Burke's attorney, Bruce Bailey, told Hamilton County Chancellor Frank Brown. "We have games and fireworks scheduled for three more nights this month."

Carmike attorney John Konvalinka told the chancellor that a third party had proposed to work with the theater Friday evening on a test fix having to do with the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.

"We submitted the idea to the (Chattanooga) Fire Department and they have no problem with the testing," Konvalinka said. "We've been told (by the third party) that there's a 99 percent chance of success."

He said Carmike was willing to "waive" the injunction Friday to test the potential fix.

"We're interested in a solution," Konvalinka said.