Verdict is In!

Three Years ago a lawsuit was filed by the State of VT against the former operators of the Randall Drive-In, which ran the theatre in 2013 and 2014. All allegations were immediately denied and we respectfully asked that everyone be patient and allow the legal process to play out while we defended ourselves.

We are happy to announce that years of investigation resulted in a four day trial which has now concluded. A panel of three Judges found that there was absolutely no merit to the State of VT's allegations and all charges were immediately dismissed against all defendants.

For those that wish, the full court decision can be found here: Court Decision - All Charges Dismissed.

As the decision is lengthy, a shorter bulleted list of key points is available below:

  • The property owner (Mr. Corse) actually leased the drive-in to the defendants in 2012 (in writing) but then reneged on the deal. Mr. Corse denied this on the stand even as the documentation was shown to him.
  • The defendants WERE given a two-year lease option, which they planned to use as soon as a digital solution was found.
  • "Corse had not communicated to Defendants a withgrawal of his offer for a 2-year lease for the subsequent years”. (Page 7 of Decision).
  • The evidence shows that throughout their entire relationship, Corse’s communication to Gerhard were not clear, orderly, and informed by consistent goals, but were sporadic, inconsistent, and mercurial. He kept changing his mind.” (Page 4 of Decision).
  • At trial, it was clear that Corse harbored a deep anger toward Gerhard (Decision Page 4)
  • It was fully disclosed on the Facebook page prior to the Kickstarter that Defendants did not have a long term lease secured.
  • Mr. Corse was in talks with current operator Dave T. back in March 2014, discussing Dave T. taking over the drive-in. None of the defendants was aware of these conversations or that they were working tirelessly to restore a drive-in that was to be given away to someone else.
  • Both Mr. Corse and Dave T. were fully aware of the Kickstarter while it was happening. Neither attempted to contact the defendants. The Defendants could be reached via the email address or via Facebook. Mr. Corse also had the defendants personal email address, telephone number and postal address. None of them was used.
  • Mr. Corse waited until AFTER the Kickstarter ended to inform the defendants that they might not be returning. This was the second time offers/agreements in writing were not honored by Mr. Corse. The defendants spent all year attempting to remedy the situation to no avail.
  • “On August 30, 2014, Gerhard had sent Corse a check for payment of the lease fee for the 2014 season, along with a letter in which he AGAIN requested to negotiate for a lease beyond 2014. Core did not open the letter. He had stopped opening any mail from Gerhard. He did not communicate further with Gerhard. He has never cashed the check” (Decision Page 8)
  • “He (Corse) emailed Gerhard instructing him to remove his equipment from the property. Gerhard removed his equipment, including the digital projector, leaving behind many improvements related to upgraded equipment” (Decision Page 8)
  • The projector was publicly offered to Mr. Corse, future tenants (Dave T.), or anyone who would pick up the lease payments and keep the digital projector in the area. There was no interest shown by any party.
  • Of the 257 Kickstarter backers, it appears that many were motivated to sustain “the drive-in experience” in general: some from far away acknowledged that they were unlikely to ever actually visit the Randall (Page 7 of Decision). In fact, the MAJORITY of backers were not from Vermont.
  • The Defendants viewed the drive-in as a long-term commitment and put any profit back into the business with the goal of ensuring the drive-in was kept going for future generations.
  • Per the Decision “The facts show clearly that, at all times Gerhard and CTD (the operators) intended to use the Kickstarter money to show digital films at the Randall Drive-In over the long term, and did everything possible to bring that about, and in fact did bring that about for several months – as long as legally permitted to do so. The facts do not show that Gerhard planned or schemed to obtain the projector primarily for his personal benefit, outside of its use at the Randall. He offered publicly to transfer his lease on the projector to anyone who would be operating the Randall after 2014. Although he wound up with the project, he also wound up with a $30,000 obligation on it. To the extent it maybe have been material to some that the projector would be used at the Randall and not elsewhere for years after 2014, Gerhard did everything he could to bring that about.”

We will leave this information here and let people make up their own minds as the judges did after hearing all the facts of the situation.

In closing, we had a great time running the Randall Drive-in and were thrilled that we could provide two of the most successful seasons the theatre has ever had. While we wished we were still involved and would gladly resume operation, it is clear that is not an option.

We want to thank everyone for their support and we will continue to pursue our dreams of running movie theaters to give families memories under the stars.

Thank you for two great years!

Initial Statement of Response

This statement is in direct response to the false information that has been circulating on the Internet. It is not an invitation for discussion and we ask that you respect the legal process and let things run their course rather than jumping to conclusions based on false allegations and rumors.

Recently the Attorney General’s office published a copy of a pending lawsuit against the former operators of the Randall Drive-in in an attempted smear campaign to sway public opinion. While the lawsuit makes many allegations, time will prove that there is no truth, fact or evidence to support their claims.

Furthermore, the Attorney General’s office has already been provided repeatedly with the facts and supporting evidence which exonerates the former operators of any wrongdoing, yet their office has not been open to considering the facts. Instead, they have relied on the financial resources of the State of VT to go after small business owners simply banking on the fact that owners could not financially defend themselves against the State of VT while clearing their good name.

The only reason the Randall Drive-in is not operating as a digital drive-in today with long, successful seasons is due to a choice made by the owner of the land. All of the statements made in our Kickstarter Campaign were factual and in fact has been mirrored by countless other drive-ins and indoor theatres across the country. The former operators were in full compliance with all rules of the Kickstarter program as well as with all State laws which will be proven as we defend ourselves from these false allegations.

The State of VT filed this complaint against us knowing the information in the complaint to be erroneous, unsubstantiated by any evidence, and in many cases outright false statements. We look forward to responding to these unfounded allegations and clearing our good name.

Additionally, the new operators at the drive-in have taken it upon themselves since day one to slander us in an attempt to garner pity and drive up traffic to their website and social media accounts. We left the drive-in against our wishes in far better condition than we found it and in compliance with the terms of our lease. We even went so far as to offer to help them re-open the drive-in in whatever capacity we could (we have this in writing). We also have nothing to do with their poor decision to rename the drive-in. Despite the threat of legal action, they keep using their website and Facebook as a forum for slandering us instead of using it to simply run their business.

In closing, we want to thank the many backers who know the facts of the situation and continue to support us despite the efforts of a few individuals to tarnish our reputation.

Coming Soon