×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

It’s Official: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio Signs Legislation Repealing Cabaret Law

As expected, on Monday evening, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation into law that will repeal the 91-year-old “cabaret law” that has long bedeviled nightclub owners. The law prohibited dancing in bars and restaurants that did not possess a cabaret license.

Int. 1652-A, which passed the full council at the end of October, repeals all aspects of this law except for two safety requirements. Establishments previously required to obtain a cabaret license must continue to abide by these requirements. Also, establishments must install and maintain security cameras; and if they employ security guards, the law ensures such security guards are licensed pursuant to state law and to maintain a roster of such security guards.

The law was created during the Prohibition era to curb speakeasies and, many contend, to repress Harlem’s booming jazz clubs of the era. While enforced inconsistently in recent years, the law was used frequently by the Rudolph Giuliani administration to crack down on city nightclubs during the 1990s in an effort to curb drug use. It was at times used as a reason to shut down establishments for quality-of-life reasons or that law-enforcement officials suspected of other offenses.

“It’s 2017, and this law just didn’t make sense. Nightlife is part of the New York melting pot that brings people together,” said de Blasio. “We want to be a city where people can work hard, and enjoy their city’s nightlife without arcane bans on dancing. I thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Member Rafael Espinal, and everyone who helped repeal this law, support businesses and keep our nightlife safe.”

“Today New York City makes history as we repeal the antiquated Cabaret Law. Since its inception, this law has been highly problematic, facing numerous legal challenges and complaints about its uneven and discriminatory enforcement,” said Mark-Viverito. “While the repeal preserves important safety measures, it removes several redundant bureaucratic barriers, so that New Yorkers may dance freely and safely. I thank Council Member Espinal for championing the end of the Cabaret Law and Mayor de Blasio for his support and signing this repeal into law.”

“Artist, musicians, businesses owners, workers, and everyday New Yorkers looking to let loose will no longer have to fear the dance police will shut down their favorite venues,” said Espinal. “We are doubling down on our commitment to keep New York as a true sanctuary city and we will not allow a law that has historically been used to suppress and oppress various groups, continue to stay in our books. I am proud to champion this historic repeal, which will support our nightlife businesses and community, while maintaining the much-needed safety measures we already have in place.”

“We look forward to supporting New York’s storied nightlife, to harnessing the creative entrepreneurial spirit that defines our city, and ensuring that establishments can operate in a way that keeps all New Yorkers safe and communities healthy,” said Julie Menin, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.

“Social dancing is a huge part of life for so many of my constituents, and it’s a pastime that across class, ethnic, and cultural lines. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio for his support and my Bushwick neighbor Council Member Espinal for his leadership on this issue. Repealing this discriminatory law was long overdue. It’s time to let NYC dance!” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso.

More Biz

  • Hollywood celebrated the individuals redefining "on-screen

    Media Access Awards Honors Individuals Increasing Representation for Disabilities

    Hollywood celebrated individuals redefining “on-screen representation for the disability community” with the Media Access Awards, in partnership with Easterseals, at the Beverly Hilton Thursday. Norman Lear and Jimmy Kimmel kicked off the event, which featured Camryn Manheim, CJ Jones, Coby Bird and “The Peanut Butter Falcon” actors Zack Gottsagen and John Hawkes presenting awards along [...]

  • 'Roxanne' Singer Arizona Zervas Signs With

    'Roxanne' Singer Arizona Zervas Signs With Columbia

    Hotly tipped singer-songwriter Arizona Zervas, whose viral hit “Roxanne” is in the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100,  has signed with Columbia, Variety has confirmed. Since the release of the track on Oct. 10, “Roxanne” has reached nearly 50 million streams on Spotify. The single topped Spotify U.S. top tracks chart for an uninterrupted [...]

  • Jax Media at Variety New Leaders

    Jax Media Accepts Variety's Creative Leadership Award at New Leaders Cocktail Party

    This year’s Variety New Leaders event, presented by City National Bank, honored innovative visionaries in entertainment. The cocktail party was hosted on a chilly Thursday night in Lower Manhattan’s Jimmy Rooftop Bar at the James Hotel. Patrick McCarthy, senior VP and head of marketing for City National Bank, kicked off the event highlighting the new [...]

  • taylor swift, scott borchetta and scooter

    Rage Against the Big Machine: What's Driving the Taylor Swift Showdown

    The latest Taylor Swift-Scooter Braun-Scott Borchetta kerfuffle involves the sort of music business minutiae that doesn’t commonly interest the general public — in fact, it’s probably safe to say that untold thousands if not millions of people are suddenly familiar with the concept of re-recording old masters. But in blasting Braun on social media and [...]

  • Redbox

    Redbox Settles Disney Suit, Agrees Not to Sell Download Codes

    Redbox has settled its litigation with Disney, agreeing not to resell codes that allow customers to download movies. Redbox has traditionally offered DVDs for rent through its distinctive kiosks. In October 2017, the company also began offering download codes at a considerable discount compared to the price on iTunes, Amazon or other services. Redbox did [...]

  • Shari Redstone: ViacomCBS 'Can Compete With

    Shari Redstone: ViacomCBS 'Can Compete With the Best of Them'

    Shari Redstone is emphatic: ViacomCBS has plenty of resources and the scale to compete in the new world order for media giants. “We absolutely have enough scale,” Redstone said Friday morning during her Q&A held as part of the Paley Center for Media’s International Council Summit in New York. “We have an incredible library. We [...]

  • Taylor Swift

    Taylor Swift Denies Big Machine's Claims Over Song Use, 'Millions' in Debt

    In the latest salvo in a rapidly evolving media battle that has evolved over the past 15 hours, Taylor Swift refuted Big Machine Records’ claim that the company did not try to block her from using material from her early albums, which are owned by the label, in forthcoming television specials. Swift had leveled those [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content