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North Ridgeville, OH: Drive-in Sues Sports Park Over Light Pollution

Posted on Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 9:04 PM by Scott Jentsch

The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that the Aut-O-Rama Twin Drive-In was granted a two-week restraining order against a nearby sports park to shut off some of the lights at the park that the Drive-in contends is harming their ability to show movies:

The Aut-O-Rama Twin Drive-in sued the recently opened sports center, maintaining that the lights on ball fields wash out the images on the movie complex's giant picture screens.

The Aut-O-Rama, which opened in 1965, is one of only 33 drive-ins left in Ohio.

The $3 million, 67-acre Ohio Sports Park has seven illuminated baseball and softball fields, outdoor volleyball and basketball courts and nine soccer fields.

Deb Sherman, owner of the drive-in, said she knew she was in for trouble when the Ohio Sports Park, about 600 feet east of the theater, tested its lights May 8.

"This is our business," she said. "People have to be able to see the screens to enjoy the movie or they won't be back. The lights are so bright on one screen that it's like watching a PowerPoint presentation with the lights on. People watching the other screen have the lights shining in their faces. It's unpleasant, and we can't afford to lose customers."

After meetings with the sports park owners proved unsuccessful, Sherman filed suit in Lorain County Common Pleas Court, seeking more than $50,000 in damages. The court granted the temporary restraining order while the situation is investigated.

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