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BULLET St. Louis City Revised Code Chapter 8.32 Dance Halls

St. Louis City Revised Code (annotated) has been converted to electronic format by the staff of the St. Louis Public Library. This electronic version has been done for the interest and convenience of the user. These are unofficial versions and should be used as unofficial copies.

Official printed copies of St. Louis City Revised Code may be obtained from the Register's Office at the St. Louis City Hall.



Chapter 8.32
Dance Halls

Sections:

8.32.010 Definitions.
8.32.020 License--Required.
8.32.040 Property owner consent petition.
8.32.045 Dance hall license application.
8.32.050 Taxi dance halls.
8.32.060 Posting licenses.
8.32.070 Expiration or transfer of license.
8.32.080 Permits.
8.32.090 Suspension or revocation of licenses or permits.
8.32.100 Conformance to building, health and fire regulations.
8.32.110 Revocation by neighborhood petition.
8.32.120 Powers and duties of police.
8.32.130 Investigations.
8.32.140 Disapproval or revocation of license.
8.32.150 Sanitation and lighting.
8.32.160 Closing for violations.
8.32.170 Closing.
8.32.180 Minors--Prohibited after eight p.m.--Exceptions.
8.32.190 Minors--Misrepresentation of age.
8.32.200 Minors--Misrepresentation as to parent or guardian.
8.32.210 Disorderly or indecent conduct--Presence of undesirable persons.
8.32.220 Applicability of chapter.

8.32.010 Definitions.

The following words when used in this chapter shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this section:

A. "Public dance hall" or "public ballroom" means any room, place or space in which a public dance or public ball shall be held.

B. "Public dance" or "public ball," shall be taken to mean any dance or ball to which admission can be had by payment of a fee or by the purchase, possession or presentation of a ticket or token, or in which a charge is made for caring for clothing or other property, or any other dance or ball to which the public generally may gain admission with or without payment of a fee.
(Ord. 57494 1, 1978: 1948 C. Ch. 17 1: 1960 C. 715.010.)

City Counselor Ops.: 8725, 9274, 9762

8.32.020 License--Required.

It shall be unlawful to conduct any public dance hall or to hold any public dance or public ball or to hold classes in dancing or to give instructions in dancing for hire in any hall or academy within the limits of the City, unless the dance hall or academy in which the same may be held shall be duly licensed for such purposes.
(1948 C. Ch. 17 2: 1960 C. 715.020.)

City Counselor Ops.: 9762

McQuillin:

24.209 Dances, dance halls, dance schools

26.153 Dance places

8.32.040 Property owner consent petition.

Every applicant for the initial license shall attach to his application a petition, approving the public dance, public ball, public dance hall or public ballroom, signed by a majority of the persons owning property and a majority of persons, if any, occupying or conducting any business on the main or surface floor within a prescribed circle drawn by a radius of three hundred feet plus one-half of the width of the front of the premises from the center of the front of the premises projected to the street. A new petition shall be submitted every five years by the applicant for a specific location. No petition may be assigned or transferred to another applicant.
(Ord. 54691 1, 1967: 1948 C. Ch. 17 4: 1960 C. 715.040.)

8.32.045 Dance hall license application.

Notwithstanding the provisions of any other ordinance, no restaurant must pay for a dance hall license fee under Section One of Ordinance 49621 and restaurants shall not be required to file a petition pursuant to Ordinance 54691, presently codified as Section 8.32.040 of the Revised Code of the City of St. Louis other than in connection with the initial dance hall license application.
(Ord. 61095 4, 1988.)

8.32.050 Taxi dance halls.

Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed as authorizing the issuance of a license under any circumstances for the conduct of any public dance hall, commonly known as a "taxi dance hall," wherein there is kept or provided female dancing partners for male guests or customers and wherein the male guests or customers are required to pay, by the dance or otherwise, for the privilege of dancing with female dancing partners.
(1948 C. Ch. 14 5: 1960 C. 715.050.)

8.32.060 Posting licenses.

All licenses issued under the provisions of this chapter shall be posted in a conspicuous place within the hall or ballroom where dances or balls are given.
(1948 C. Ch. 14 6: 1960 C. 715.060.)

8.32.070 Expiration or transfer of license.

All licenses issued under the provisions of this chapter shall expire on the first day of June of each year and no license or permit shall be assigned or transferred.
(1948 C. Ch. 17 7: 1960 C. 715.070.)

8.32.080 Permits.

No person, association or organization, society, club or corporation shall hold a public dance or ball unless the same be held in a licensed hall without first obtaining a permit therefor from the Director of Public Safety. The application for a permit shall be made at least five days prior to the date of the proposed dance or ball, and the application shall be made upon a blank to be furnished by the Director of Public Safety.
(Ord. 49621 1 (8), 1959: 1948 C. Ch. 17 8: 1960 C. 715.080.)

8.32.090 Suspension or revocation of licenses or permits.

The license of any public dance hall or the permit for any public dance may be suspended or revoked by the Board of Public Service, for habitual disorderly conduct, immoral dancing or immoral conduct on the premises or for the violation of any of the rules, regulations, ordinances or laws governing or applying to public dance halls or public dances; provided, however, that no such license or permit shall be suspended or revoked except upon the hearing before the Board of Public Service upon notice being mailed by the Secretary of the Board of Public Service five days before the date of the hearing, to the last known residence or business address of the holder of the license or permit. If any license for a public dance hall shall be revoked, at least six months shall elapse before another license shall be issued for dancing on the same premises or any other premises owned or conducted by the person, association, organization or corporation owning or conducting the public dance hall. No license shall be renewed until after reinspection of the premises and upon approval of the Director of Public Safety.
(Ord. 49621 1 (9), 1959: 1948 C. Ch. 17 9: 1960 C. 715.090.)

City Counselor Ops.: 8299

8.32.100 Conformance to building, health and fire regulations.

No public dance hall shall be licensed or operated unless the hall complies with and conforms to all ordinances and health, building and fire regulations of the City, is properly ventilated and supplied with sufficient free drinking fountains, toilet conveniences and separate dressing rooms for men and women and is a safe and proper place for the purpose for which it is to be used.
(1948 C. Ch. 17 10: 1960 C. 715.100.)

8.32.110 Revocation by neighborhood petition.

If it is proposed to locate a public dance hall or public ballroom in the City, and a majority of the owners or occupants of structures or property located within four hundred feet of the building in which it is proposed to establish or maintain the public dance hall or ballroom, protest in writing against the issuance of the license, or the maintenance of the public dance hall or public ballroom, the Director of Public Safety, if he finds upon investigation that it would be for the best interests of the neighborhood, shall refuse his consent to the issuance of the license and he shall revoke the license where same has already been granted.
(Ord. 49621 1 (11), 1959: 1948 C. Ch. 17 11: 1960 C. 715.110.)

City Counselor Ops.: 8299

8.32.120 Powers and duties of police.

The members of the Police Department shall have access at all times to all public dance halls or ballrooms and officers or patrolmen of the Police Department shall be detailed to supervise public dance halls or ballrooms and investigate all complaints about public dance halls and public dances, and shall visit dance halls or ballrooms and report any and all violations of this chapter to the Chief of Police and the Director of Public Safety.
(Ord. 49621 1 (12) 1959: 1948 C. Ch. 17 12: 1960 C. 715.120.)

8.32.130 Investigations.

The Director of Public Safety shall examine all applications for public dance hall licenses and public dance permits, and shall investigate the place for which an application is made. He shall investigate the habits and moral character of the applicant, to determine whether the dance hall sought to be licensed or in which a public dance hall is to be held complies with the regulations, ordinances and laws applicable thereto, and whether the applicant is a proper person to conduct the public dance or public dance hall. In making the investigation the Director of Public Safety shall have the assistance of the Building Commissioner, Health Commissioner, the Chief of the Fire Department and the Chief of Police, who shall make such investigation as pertains to their respective departments, and report in writing to the Director of Public Safety the result of their investigation. If the application is approved by the Director of Public Safety he shall so notify the License Collector, who will thereupon issue the license.
(Ord. 49621 1 (13), 1959: 1948 C. Ch. 17 13: 1960 C. 715.130.)

City Counselor Ops.: 10453

8.32.140 Disapproval or revocation of license.

The board of public service may disapprove the issuing of a license for a public dance hall or ballroom and may revoke any license for good and sufficient reasons submitted to it in writing. The board shall revoke any license already issued upon proof of the violating by any proprietor, lessee or manager of any public hall of any statute of the state, for violation of which imprisonment in the state penitentiary may be imposed, or for repeated violations of any criminal statute or ordinance. The board of public service shall revoke any license for a public dance hall or ballroom already issued, upon proof of any violation of any ordinance regulating, controlling or in any way relating to the construction of the dance hall, or of any ordinance regulating, controlling or relating to health, sanitation, fire protection or the public peace, or for the violation of or failure to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter.
(1948 C. Ch. 17 14: 1960 C. 715.140.)

8.32.150 Sanitation and lighting.

All public dance halls or ballrooms shall at all times be kept in a clean, healthful and sanitary condition. All stairways, passageways and all rooms connected with the dance hall or ballroom shall be kept open and well lighted. The dance hall shall be sufficiently lighted at all times so that it may be possible to see distinctly to any part thereof.
(1948 C. Ch. 17 15: 1960 C. 715.150.)

8.32.160 Closing for violations.

The police department shall have the power, and it shall be their duty to cause the place, hall or room where any dance or ball is held or given to be vacated and closed wherever any provision of any regulation, ordinance or law with regard to public dances and public dance halls or ballrooms is being violated, or whenever any indecent act shall be committed or when any disorder of a gross, violent or vulgar character shall take place therein.
(1948 C. Ch. 17 16: 1960 C. 715.160.)

8.32.170 Closing.

All public dances shall be discontinued and public dance halls and ballrooms shall be closed not later than one am.; provided, however, that the director of public safety may grant special permits for dance halls or ballrooms to remain open until a later hour on special occasions such as New Year's Eve, or on other holidays. Further, such public dances or balls may remain open after the hour of one a.m. and until such time as may be stated in the petition and in the discretion of the director of public safety may be proper upon the filing with the director of a petition therefor, approved by the signatures of the majority of the owners and occupants of structure or property located within four hundred feet of the building in which such public dances or balls may be established, conducted or maintained.

Provided further that any dance hall or public dance located within an establishment possessing a valid "3:00 a.m. closing permit" issued under Chapter 14.28 of this code may remain open during those hours when the establishment may legally serve alcoholic beverages.
(Ord. 58470 1, 1982: prior Ord. 49621 1 (7), 1959: 1948 C. Ch. 17 17: 1960 C. 715.170.)

8.32.180 Minors--Prohibited after eight p.m.--Exceptions.

No person under the age of seventeen shall be permitted to attend or take part in any public dance after the hour of eight p.m., unless such person be accompanied by a parent or guardian, or a respectable adult person who has a written permit of the parent or guardian of the minor to take such person to the dance.
(1948 C. Ch. 17 18: 1960 C. 715.180.)

8.32.190 Minors--Misrepresentation of age.

It shall be a misdemeanor for any person to represent himself to have reached the age of seventeen years, in order to obtain admission to a public dance hall or to be permitted to remain therein, when such person has not reached the age of seventeen years.
(1948 C. Ch. 17 19: 1960 C. 715.190.)

8.32.200 Minors--Misrepresentation as to parent or guardian.

It shall be a misdemeanor for any person not the parent or guardian of another person to represent himself to be the parent or guardian of the other person in order that the person may obtain admittance to a public dance hall or ballroom, or to be permitted to remain therein; or to aid, assist or attempt to aid or assist any person under the age of seventeen years to obtain admission to or be permitted to remain in a public dance hall or ballroom, or in any way contribute to his delinquency.
(1948 C. Ch. 17 20: 1960 C. 715.200.)

8.32.210 Disorderly or indecent conduct--Presence of undesirable persons.

No proprietor, lessee or manager of any public dance hall or ballroom or public dance, obtaining a license or permit under this chapter, shall permit any disorderly or indecent conduct, or the use of any immoral, profane or indecent language or to allow or permit any indecent act, such as dancing couples assuming vulgar or suggestive positions or performing vulgar or suggestive movements, or permit the public dance hall or ballroom to become a place where thieves, prostitutes, male or female procurers, vagrants or other disorderly persons resort; and it shall be unlawful for any male or female procurers, vagrants, thieves or person of known bad character to attend any public dance or ball.
(1948 C. Ch. 17 21: 1960 C. 715.210.)

8.32.220 Applicability of chapter.

The provisions of this chapter shall in no way interfere with private parties given at homes of people or with dances given by the city or in public schools, or by bona fide societies, clubs or associations where the attendance is restricted to the bona fide members of the society, club or association, and where no admission fee is charged or accepted.
(1948 C. Ch. 17 22: 1960 C. 715.220.)

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