[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Middletown as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 12-23-1912 (Ch. 75, Art. I of the 1971 Code)]
No circus, theatrical representation, public show, entertainment or exhibition of any kind whatever to which an admission fee is charged, except such as shall be held by local societies, shall be held, exhibited or conducted in this City unless a permit or license so to do shall first have been obtained, nor shall any person or persons, association or corporation permit any place to be used for any such purpose within the City of Middletown, except by local societies of said City, without having first obtained a permit or license so to do, as required by the terms of this article, and for which the following fees shall be collected, to wit:
For every circus or exhibition of a similar nature, $50 for the first two performances; and $25 for each additional performance.
For the temporary exhibition of natural or artificial curiosities or other like attractions or amusements not conducted upon premises licensed under this article, $25 per day or $50 per week.
For every theatrical representation, concert, lecture, entertainment or public show not conducted upon premises licensed pursuant to this article, the sum of $5 for each performance.
Theaters and halls.
A license may be issued to the owner, lessee or occupant of any building, theater, hall or place devoted to theatrical exhibitions, concerts, lectures or entertainments and having a seating capacity of 500 persons or more, allowing the giving of exhibitions of a theatrical nature, plays, operas, concerts, lectures, vaudeville, moving pictures or similar entertainments in such building or place according to the following schedule:
A license may be issued to the owner, lessee or occupant of any building, theater, hall or place devoted to the giving of any of the aforesaid exhibitions or entertainments and having a seating capacity of less than 500 persons and more than 150 persons, allowing for the giving of such exhibitions and entertainments in such building or place until the first day of January next following, upon the payment of $100.
A license may be issued to the owner, lessee or occupant of any building, theater, hall or place devoted to the giving of any of the aforesaid exhibitions or entertainments and having a seating capacity of less than 150 persons and more than 50 persons, allowing the giving of such exhibitions and entertainments in such building or place until the first day of January next following, upon the payment of $20.
The payments herein specified shall be made in advance.
Upon the payment of the foregoing fees to the Treasurer, the Mayor may grant such licenses or permits, subject to revocation of the same at any time and for any cause which, in the judgment of the Mayor of said City, shall deem just and proper, and no license shall be transferred without the written consent of the Mayor.
No license shall be issued for the use of any theater, building or place unless the requirements of the General Business Law of the State of New York and other laws regulating shows or entertainments therein to be given are first complied with, and unless the building or place in which the same are to be held is constructed in accordance with the regulations of the Fire Marshal of the State of New York and local ordinances which may be applicable thereto.
No dance, fancy-dress ball or similar entertainment to which an admission fee shall be charged, either directly or indirectly, or at which a charge is made for any purpose in lieu of an admission fee, shall be given or held in this City unless a permit or license so to do, granted by the Mayor, shall have first been obtained.
The fee for such license shall be the sum of $1, which shall be paid to the Treasurer before the issuance thereof.
When any application shall be made for license for a dance or similar entertainment, the applicant shall, if required, furnish satisfactory evidence of good character; and in case the same is to be given by a copartnership, association or corporation, the names of the partners or officers thereof shall accompany the application. Such dance or entertainment shall be given only on the premises stated in the application for a license.
A person, copartnership, association or corporation shall not permit at such dance or entertainment any disorderly conduct or conduct unbecoming to morals and shall not admit thereto any disorderly person or allow thereat any breach of the peace. In event of any disorderly conduct or conduct unbecoming to morals occurring at a dance or entertainment held in pursuant to a license herein specified, or the admission of disorderly persons thereto or any breach of the peace thereat, the person holding such dance or entertainment shall not be issued another license for any dance or entertainment for a period of one year therefrom.
Nothing herein contained shall be construed to require a license for the exhibition or sale of works of art by residents of said City or by local societies.
Nothing herein contained shall be construed to affect the rights of persons holding licenses already issued to give such entertainments, shows, etc., in such building or place as they may now legally hold until the termination of the licenses which they now hold, unless the same shall be hereafter terminated.
Any person violating any provisions of this article shall be guilty of an offense within the meaning of the Penal Law of the State of New York and shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 and/or up to 15 days in jail, and each day on which such violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate offense.
[Adopted 6-8-1953 (Ch. 75, Art. II of the 1971 Code)]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
No premises owned or controlled by the City shall be leased or let for any circus or outdoor assemblage except by written lease, the form and contents of which are first approved by the Corporation Counsel.
No license issued for any circus or outdoor assemblage shall become operative, and no such circus or outdoor assemblage shall be permitted to proceed, until an inspection has been made by the Police and Fire Departments and the Department of Licenses and Inspections, and, where sanitary facilities are provided, by the Department of Health.
Such inspection shall be made by representatives of each department acting in cooperation with each other for the purpose of determining that, insofar as practicable, all factors are present to preclude and prevent danger to the public from injury, fire and panic, and that the requirements of the following sections have been met.
No circus or outdoor assemblage shall be permitted in the City and no license therefor shall be issued unless the proper representative of each of the departments making the inspection required by the preceding section shall, by written endorsement on such license, or otherwise, signify that in the matters within the jurisdiction of the respective departments it has been determined:
The grounds are safe for use by the public, that no conditions exist which are liable to cause injury, and that the premises are sufficiently clear of straw, dry grass or combustible trash.
The seats, platforms, poles and all other portions of the structure are sufficiently sound, stable and secure to insure the public safety.
Provision has been made for a sufficient number of aisles and exits to insure lighted and unobstructed passageways to areas well away from the tent or other place of such circus or outdoor assemblage.
Adequate provision has been made for first aid in case of injury and for first-aid fire appliances, properly distributed throughout the grounds, and that the operating personnel are familiar with the use and location of such appliances.
If a canvas tent or temporary structure of any other material is used to house such circus or outdoor assemblage, that such tent or other temporary structure is fireproof or flameproof or has been rendered fireproof or flameproof insofar as the same is practicably possible by the use of recognized standards.
Where toilet or other sanitary facilities have been provided, that such facilities are adequate to insure the public health and so located as to avoid endangering the public safety.
No circus or outdoor assemblage shall be permitted in the City, and no license therefor shall be issued, until the said circus or outdoor assemblage shall submit to the Corporation Counsel a public liability and property damage insurance policy, written by an insurance carrier licensed to do business in the State of New York, and satisfactory to the Corporation Counsel, covering claims for personal injuries, including accidental death, in amounts of not less than $200,000 for any one person, and $1,000,000 for any one accident, and property damage in the amount of not less than $200,000, and a separate policy indemnifying and defending the City of Middletown, New York, against any contingent liability of the City in the same amounts.
Sufficient policemen shall be provided by the Chief of Police at each circus or outdoor assemblage for the protection of the public and the prevention of injury and panic. When deemed reasonably necessary by the Fire Marshal, a sufficient number of firemen shall be assigned. Such firemen shall familiarize themselves with the nature and location of all fire-protection features and the location of all exits, and they shall be so stationed that all sections where the public is admitted are under constant surveillance. They shall assist the police in the prevention of smoking and overcrowding and in the clearing of aisles and exits.
No smoking shall be permitted at any circus or outdoor assemblage, and a policeman or responsible employee shall be stationed at each entrance to require lighted cigars, cigarettes and pipes to be extinguished. Arrangements shall be made to give frequent "no smoking" announcements while the public is assembling and during the performance. No overcrowding shall be permitted and aisles and exits shall be kept open and unobstructed at all times, except that if a sufficient number of other exits are provided, one of such exits or entrances may be reserved during performances for the use of performers and animals used in performances. All areas where rubbish and debris may accumulate, especially under seats, shall be kept reasonably serviced and clear by the operating personnel.
If any acts using fire or open flames are to be given, suitable safeguards shall be provided or the use of such devices curtailed or forbidden. Proper facilities for calling fire apparatus to the scene shall be provided, and when deemed necessary by the Fire Marshal, a sufficient amount of hose and other fire apparatus shall be kept and maintained at or near the premises in instant readiness to combat any probable fire.
The Chiefs of the Police and Fire Departments shall make suitable and proper rules and regulations to implement and render more fully effective the provisions of this section. The violation of any such rule or regulation shall be unlawful.
The Chief of Police or his duly authorized representative shall have the power, in the event any of the provisions of the preceding section or the rules or regulations made thereunder are violated, to stop any circus or outdoor assemblage immediately and debar it from continuing.
It shall be unlawful for any person to exhibit, open, maintain or operate performances or shows commonly known as "carnivals" anywhere in the City; provided, however, that this section shall not apply to any amateur show, bazaar, festival or other similar amusement conducted for the benefit of a church or religious society, whether or not it is carried on in a hall used occasionally for such affairs and located in a church edifice or maintained in connection with or as part of the religious work of a church, religious society, public or parochial school, or upon the grounds of a church, school or religious society.