[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Mount Vernon 11-13-1957 as Ch. 15 of the General Ordinances, approved 11-15-1957. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- PUBLIC DANCE HALL OR DANCING SCHOOL
- Any room or place in which dancing is freely permitted, practiced or taught, or any room or place in which dances are held, daily or weekly or at stated times or at regular recurring intervals, and to which the public is invited or admitted.
It shall be unlawful to hold any public dances or to maintain or operate dance halls or dancing schools or to permit dancing in any place to which the public is freely admitted, except as hereinafter provided, until the place in which the same may be held shall first have been duly licensed for such purposes as a public dance hall or dancing school.
All licenses shall be issued by the Mayor and countersigned by the City Clerk.
No license for a public dance hall or dancing school shall be issued until it shall be found that such place complies with and conforms to all ordinances and health and fire regulations of the City, that it is properly ventilated and supplied with sufficient toilet conveniences and that it is a safe and proper place for the purposes for which it is to be used. All public dance halls and dancing schools shall be kept at all times in a clean, healthful and sanitary condition, and all stairways and other passages and all rooms connected with such place shall be kept open and well lighted. The Commissioner of Public Safety or any member of the police force 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 whenever any provision of this chapter or of any other ordinance with regard to public dances or public halls is being violated, or whenever any indecent act shall be committed, or whenever any disorderly, violent or vulgar act shall take place therein.
The license of any public dance hall or dancing school may be forfeited or revoked by the Mayor for disorderly or immoral conduct on the premises, for permitting dancing on a Sunday or for the violation of any of the rules, regulations, ordinances or laws governing or applying to public halls or public places.
For every license for a public dance hall or dancing school so granted, there shall be paid to the City Clerk the sum of $50 for a yearly license and $25 for a six months' license. No such license shall be granted for a lesser period than six months.
No public dance hall or dancing school license shall be required for any hall or room, nor if licensed as such shall it be considered as licensed, when used and controlled by a religious, benevolent, fraternal, political or labor organization formed in good faith for religious, benevolent, fraternal or political purposes; nor of any incorporated volunteer fire company; nor of any military organization comprising a part of the regular state or federal military forces; nor of any hall or room owned and controlled by a responsible gymnastic or athletic organization formed in good faith and owning its own gymnasium, and which aforementioned organizations shall have or give occasional public dances as merely incidental to the purposes for which any such organization was formed; nor of any hall or room not used for dancing except by community center clubs or associations formed under the provisions of the Education Law or by organizations of public or parochial schoolchildren.
All licensed public dance halls and dancing schools shall be closed on or before the hour of 12:30 a.m., except when, on application to the Mayor, he may grant a permit allowing such place on a particular occasion to remain open until a later hour. No tickets shall be sold or accepted for admission to a public dance hall after the hour of 12:00 midnight.
No license for a public dance hall shall be issued unless the application therefor is accompanied by the consent in writing of the owner of the real property where such dance hall is located.
The giving of return checks to public dances or public balls conducted in a licensed dance hall, permitting holders of such checks to leave the place where such public dance is being held and to return thereto during the public dance or public ball, is prohibited.
No license shall be issued for a public dance hall or dancing school which is located in a building in which there are rooms for hire, nor in a hotel, nor in a building having a direct or indirect connection with a rooming house or hotel.