City of Rochester, NY
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 5-24-1983 by Ord. No. 83-188]
[Amended 11-12-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-326]
A. 
No person shall maintain or operate a public entertainment center within the City of Rochester without first having obtained an entertainment center license.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Section 11 of Ord. No. 83-188, which enacted this article, provides as follows: "Amusement center licenses which are valid on the effective date of this ordinance and allow an activity which is deemed to be public entertainment under this ordinance shall be automatically deemed entertainment center licenses and shall remain in effect as provided in said license, unless earlier suspended or revoked. Thereafter, said licenses may be renewed in accordance with the provisions governing renewal of entertainment center licenses. All rules and regulations of the Chief of Police governing public amusements in effect at the time of this ordinance shall automatically apply to entertainment centers and the entertainment offered therein, and shall remain in full force and effect until amended or revoked by the Chief of Police."
B. 
No person shall maintain or operate a limited entertainment center within the City of Rochester without first having obtained a limited entertainment center license.
[Amended 6-27-1985 by Ord. No. 85-263; 5-14-1996 by Ord. No. 96-155; 6-16-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-179; 6-20-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-170; 11-12-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-326]
A. 
An application for a public entertainment center license or a limited entertainment center license shall be made to the City Clerk. The application shall contain the name and address of the owner and operator of the entertainment center. If the owner or operator is a partnership, corporation or other business association, the application shall contain the names and addresses of all partners, officers or principals. All addresses of persons involved shall be home addresses, listing street and number. The application shall contain the address of the public or limited entertainment center and the type of entertainment to be offered.
B. 
The premises to be licensed must meet all applicable Zoning, Building, Fire, Health and Safety Codes. Upon receipt of an application for a public entertainment center or limited entertainment center license and after approval for Zoning Code compliance by the Director of Planning and Zoning, the Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development and the Fire Chief shall cause an inspection of the premises to be made to determine whether the applicant is complying with the applicable Building and Fire Codes, and said Commissioner and Fire Chief and members of their staff shall have the right to enter upon any premises for which the license is sought for the purpose of making such an inspection during normal business hours.
C. 
No public entertainment center license shall be denied, suspended or revoked based upon the content of any public entertainment or motion picture or type of public entertainment or motion picture offered. No limited entertainment center license shall be denied, suspended or revoked based upon the content of any limited entertainment or type of limited entertainment offered, except to the extent that the content or type is contrary to the definition and criteria for limited entertainment set forth in § 29-1. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to affect in any way the institution or prosecution of obscenity charges involving any public entertainment or motion picture.
D. 
A public entertainment center license or limited entertainment center license shall be issued or continued despite a guilty plea to or conviction of a crime by the owner or operator of a center offering, operating, presenting or exhibiting any motion picture or public entertainment or limited entertainment protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, unless the granting or continuation of the license presents a clear and present danger of serious, substantive evil.
A. 
The owner and operator of any public entertainment center or limited entertainment center shall comply with all provisions of federal, state and local laws and ordinances relating to the conduct of the business and the use and maintenance of the premises.
[Amended 11-12-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-326]
B. 
The owner and operator of any public entertainment center or limited entertainment center shall comply with all the notices, orders, decisions and rules and regulations made by the Chief of Police, Fire Chief, Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development and the Director of Planning and Zoning governing the occupation and use of said premises.
[Amended 6-27-1985 by Ord. No. 85-263; 6-16-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-179; 6-20-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-170; 11-12-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-326]
C. 
The owner and operator of any public entertainment center or limited entertainment center shall cause the applicable entertainment center license to be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises.
[Amended 11-12-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-326]
D. 
The owner and operator of any public entertainment center or limited entertainment center shall not permit at any time a greater number of persons on the premises than the capacity approved by the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development and set forth on the applicable entertainment center license.
[Amended 6-16-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-179; 11-12-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-326]
E. 
The owner and operator of any public entertainment center or limited entertainment center shall maintain good order on the premises at all times. The lack of good order on the premises shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
[Amended 4-4-1989 by Ord. No. 89-109; 11-12-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-326]
(1) 
Fighting and rowdy behavior.
(2) 
Illegal or excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages.
(3) 
Gambling.
(4) 
Prostitution.
(5) 
Sale, possession or use of any controlled substances, marijuana, hypodermic instrument or drug paraphernalia.
F. 
The Chief of Police may promulgate rules and regulations to govern the operation of public entertainment centers and limited entertainment centers so as to provide for the orderly operation of the centers and to ensure the public safety and the peace and tranquility of the neighborhood where the centers are located. Such rules and regulations shall deal solely with specific public health and safety concerns, and no rule or regulation shall govern the content of any public entertainment, limited entertainment or motion picture.
[Amended 11-12-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-326]
G. 
The Chief of Police may promulgate rules and regulations to govern the operation of entertainment centers so as to provide for the orderly operation of the centers and to ensure the public safety and the peace and tranquility of the neighborhood where the centers are located. Such rules and regulations shall deal solely with specific public health and safety concerns, and no rule or regulation shall govern the content of any public entertainment or motion picture.
H. 
Every owner of an individual mechanical motion-picture machine commonly known as a "peep show" shall cause his or her name, business address and telephone number to be affixed to each such machine.
[Added 7-16-1985 by Ord. No. 85-317; amended 2-14-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-22]
I. 
No minor under 16 years of age shall be allowed to operate any motion-picture machine, projector or device, unless such minor is accompanied by a parent or guardian.
[Added 7-16-1985 by Ord. No. 85-317]
J. 
Booths for presentation of motion pictures and adult entertainment.
[Added 12-12-1995 by Ord. No. 95-417[1]]
(1) 
The Council recognizes that the City and its surrounding area have a large incidence of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. The Council wishes to assure that entertainment centers are not used in a manner that can facilitate the transmission of such diseases through high-risk sexual contact with multiple partners. The Council has reviewed information justifying the enactment of ordinances in other municipalities establishing open booth requirements and believes that such justifications apply in the City of Rochester. As a result of reviewing information and ordinances from other municipalities and information on local entertainment centers, the Council finds that:
(a) 
Large numbers of persons, primarily male, frequent adult entertainment establishments and other establishments which provide closed booths for the private viewing of motion pictures and adult entertainment;
[Amended 11-19-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-354]
(b) 
Such closed booths have been used by patrons for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts and certain booths in the City have been constructed so as to facilitate sexual activity;
(c) 
Doors, curtains, partitions, drapes or other obstructions in the entrances to such booths encourage patrons using such booths to engage in sexual acts therein, thereby promoting and encouraging prostitution and the commission of sexual acts which may lead to the transmission of disease between such persons or the deposit of bodily fluids on the floors and walls of such booths. Such activities could also prove detrimental to the health and safety of other persons who may come into contact with such fluids; and
(d) 
The reasonable regulation and supervision of such adult entertainment establishments and such booths tends to discourage such sexual acts and prostitution.
(2) 
No person shall own, operate, manage or control or cause or permit the establishment, operation or use of a booth provided or used for the private viewing of motion pictures or adult entertainment unless the booth is physically constructed and arranged in such a manner that the entire interior portion of the booth is clearly visible to persons in an adjacent public area of the premises. Visibility into such booths shall not be blocked or obscured by doors, curtains, partitions, drapes or any other obstruction whatsoever. Such booths shall be lighted in a manner that the persons in the booths are visible to persons in an adjacent public area of the premises, but such lighting shall not be of such intensity as to prevent the viewing of the motion pictures or adult entertainment. All such booths shall be separated from adjacent booths and any nonpublic areas by a wall. All such walls shall be solid and without any openings, shall extend from the floor to a height of not less than six feet and shall be light colored, nonabsorbent, smooth-textured and easily cleanable. Windows may be provided in the walls for viewing live entertainment as long as the windows are solid and cannot be opened to allow for contact between the patron and entertainer. The floor in such booths shall also be nonabsorbent, smooth-textured and easily cleanable.
(3) 
No person shall allow or permit the use of a booth provided or used for the private viewing of motion pictures or adult entertainment to be occupied by more than one person at a time, nor shall more than one person occupy any such booth at a time.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance provided that it would take effect on 2-1-1996 and would apply to all establishments doing business on or after said date.
A. 
The annual fees for entertainment center licenses shall be as follows:
[Amended 6-18-1991 by Ord. No. 91-257; 5-12-1992 by Ord. No. 92-175; 6-14-1994 by Ord. No. 94-171; 6-18-1996 by Ord. No. 96-206; 6-18-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-201; 6-17-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-205; 11-19-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-372; 11-12-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-326]
(1) 
Public entertainment centers and limited entertainment centers which offer or operate only those individual mechanical motion-picture machines commonly known as "peep shows" shall pay a fee of $325.
(2) 
Public entertainment centers and limited entertainment centers which offer or present any public entertainment or motion picture other than or in addition to those individual mechanical motion-picture machines commonly known as "peep shows" shall pay in accordance with the following schedule:
Occupancy
(number of persons)
Annual Fee
0 to 49
$100
50 to 99
$275
100 to 249
$425
250+
$500
In addition to the above fee, public entertainment centers and limited entertainment centers with any New York State license allowing for the consumption of alcoholic beverages on the premises shall be charged an extra annual fee of $100.
B. 
Payment of the fee shall be due upon application for the license.
[Amended 6-18-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-201]
C. 
The fee for replacement of an entertainment center license which has been lost or destroyed shall be $10.
[Added 7-16-1985 by Ord. No. 85-317; amended 6-14-1994 by Ord. No. 94-171]
[Amended 6-18-1996 by Ord. No. 96-206; 11-12-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-326]
Public entertainment center and limited entertainment center licenses shall expire on January 31 of each year. Fees for renewal of an entertainment center license expiring in 1996 shall be prorated on a semiannual basis.