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Post date: February 22 1999

Spitzer Sues Starlite Theatre To Get Refunds

Attorney General Spitzer today announced his filing of a lawsuit against a Capital Region theater for failing to provide promised refunds to season membership holders.

Last year, the Starlite Theatre of Latham, New York, a once-popular music and entertainment venue, failed to open for the 1998 season after actively promoting and marketing season memberships to consumers. Soon thereafter, the promotor who operated the Starlite Theatre, Edward M. Smith of Bulldozer, Inc. of West Seneca, New York, contacted the consumers who purchased season memberships and offered a refund or credit for the 1999 season. Refunds were promised to be delivered to consumers by September 7, 1998; however, none were forthcoming. Attempts to contact the owners of Starlite Theatre have been fruitless.

"The Starlite Theatre has misled and mistreated its best customers, the very people who provide support for its on-going operations," Spitzer said. "In light of the fact that no further plans have been made to continue operations of this theatre, obtaining full refunds for these consumers is my utmost priority in this case."

Individually, consumers paid between $20 - $60 dollars for season memberships to Starlite Theatre for preferential seating, ticket purchases and parking . Altogether it is estimated that approximately $25,000 in refunds are due to more than 500 consumers.

The lawsuit also seeks civil penalties for violations of State law prohibiting deceptive business practices and petitions the court to require Edward M. Smith and Bulldozer, Inc. to post a bond to ensure future compliance with the law.

This case is being handled by Associate Attorney Robert Vawter of the Department of Law Consumer Frauds Bureau.

Individuals interested in more information about the lawsuit filed against the Starlite Theatre can contact the Attorney General's office at (800) 771-7755 or visit his web site at http://www.ag.ny.gov/.