BARBERTON: The city of Barberton has filed a lawsuit against the former operator of Lake Cinemas, Lake Entertainment Group, seeking $98,000 in unpaid rent.
The city filed the suit on May 21 through Roetzel and Andress of Akron. Lake Entertainment Owner Phil Canfora received a summons letter about a week ago with charges for a break of a commercial lease and unjust enrichment.
“They’re doing what they have to do to look out for the citizens’ money, I’ll do what I have to do to look out for myself and my company,” Canfora said. “This is business, this is not a personal thing. There’s a contract, and under that contract they feel that Lake Entertainment owes them money. They feel they have a case and they feel they need to do this and that’s why we have courts. Now we just follow the legal process.”
Canfora operated the downtown theater, now Lake 8 Theater, through his company Lake Entertainment Group from December 2005 to December 2012. In those seven years, Lake Entertainment paid $36,000 of the $134,000 of lease payments, according to a court document from the Summit County Common Pleas Court.
“It’s just the natural course of action,” Barberton Mayor Bill Judge said. “We hold residents accountable for keeping up with their properties, we hold businesses accountable and now the city is expected to be held accountable. Lake Entertainment owes the city $98,000 in back rent and we hope to be reimbursed.”
Canfora has 28 days to respond with a course of action, whether it be to pay the city or take it to court.