GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Jim Fox opened a Jani-King cleaning franchise eight years ago. In June, Gulf Coast Cinema 5 owner Charles Boening hired him to do cleaning work. Fox said the total cost of the job was $7200.
Fox said Boening told him he needed to clean up the theater to pass a health inspection.
"It had been closed, I guess for about three months, and it was really in bad shape," Fox stated. "We cleaned floors, carpets, toilets, you know, everything."
Fox said his company spent nine days doing the work. Once they were done, he said Boening gave his approval by signing the bills for the work.
"He was billed separate invoices on each job and he signed off on all of them, done to his specifications," Fox said. "He's been billed every month since then and I have called him several times and most of the time I just get his voice mail."
Fox said even though he hasn't received a dime, he still paid his workers.
"Yes, I paid all my employees. I paid my 900 and something dollar bill at Dibbs Chemical. So the only person that hasn't been paid is me," Fox stated.
Last week, two hours before the cinema was slated to open for the 7:15 p.m. movie showings, I spoke with Charles Boening who was walking into Singing River Mall. I asked Boening if he could comment on why he hasn't paid Fox.
Boening said, "No comment, because I have."
I asked him if he was sure that he paid and Boening responded by saying, "I'm sure of that."
I told Boening that I just got off the telephone with Fox and he still hasn't received his money.
Boening said, "That's my business and our corporate business. I don't pay the bills the corporation does."
When I asked him which corporation, he said, "Well, it's none of your concern."
A day after talking with Boening in the mall, he told me over the telephone that times are tough and financially he can't afford to pay the entire bill at this time. He added he has been in contact with the companies and will work out a financial agreement.
Boening said he doesn't have a lease agreement with Singing River Mall and could leave at anytime, but said he wants to stay in Gautier and hopes the movie theater will become a success.