A six-month Naples Daily News investigation exposed the dark past of theater creator James Duffy. An analysis of media reports, court records, company filings and interviews linked Duffy to 88 theaters in 26 states. Fifty-eight of the theaters either never opened or were open less than three years. A nationwide court case search found James Duffy or his companies have been sued at least 69 times and been ordered to pay at least $24.6 million in judgments since 1982. Duffy's business convinced property owners to pay millions of dollars up-front for the construction or renovation of their theaters. His companies raked in ticket and concession sales from theaters that did open, but didn't pay rent or other bills and abandoned theaters as lawsuits were filed. Contractors that should have been paid with the fronted renovation money went unpaid, as did investors, lenders, film distributors and even the lawyers who represented Duffy or his companies when they were sued. Numerous employees have also complained of not being paid.