Here’s to the fools who dream — and to the mess they make.
But now, the Hollywood tour company has ended up in litigation. Lionsgate, which produced the film, filed a lawsuit on Friday alleging that Starline never paid $250,000 under the terms of the deal.
“La La Land” was released in December 2016, and was instantly embraced by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. The film featured landmarks like the Griffith Observatory, the Colorado Street Bridge, and the Watts Towers, and was shot in such gauzy hues that it made even the Pregerson interchange look good.
Guests on Starline tours would ask the drivers to take them to the observatory and to Angels Flight, the funicular railway that is also featured in the film, according to the Los Angeles Times.
So Starline signed a deal with Lionsgate for the exclusive right to operate a “La La Land” themed tour through December 2020. According to the lawsuit, the bus company paid $50,000 up front, and agreed to pay five further installments totaling $250,000.
However, the tour never happened. According to the suit, Starline never responded to an invoice for the second payment, which was due on June 30, 2018.
Lionsgate terminated the deal in November 2018, and notified Starline that the full amount was due. Starline still has not paid or accepted mediation, according to the suit, causing Lionsgate to go to court.
The studio filed a complaint for breach of contract in L.A. Superior Court, and is seeking the $250,000, plus interest and attorneys’ fees.
A Starline representative did not respond to a request for comment. Lionsgate is represented by Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae LLP.
Update, May 11, 11:15 a.m.: Kami Farhardi, CEO of Starline Tours, says the dispute will be sorted out eventually:
“With respect to Starline’s relationship with Lionsgate, Starline prefers not to discuss private relationships and any pending disputes. Both Starline and Lionsgate have been in contact through attorneys. Starline expects any dispute will be mediated and resolved once business returns to normal.”