24 Non-Consecutive Hours of Improv

The important point of this blog

the Improv A Thon will now be 24-ish non-consecutive hours due to restrictions limiting the hours we can even be inside our own building.  There’s so much about that sentence that makes me furious but we have important things to cover….

Our beer and wine license (not just ours, any beer and wine license) mandates that the building be emptied from the hours of 2am-8am.  That means not even HUGE staff can be in the theater, not even if we’re locked up, closed to the public and performing for a camera that streams the event out online. Believe me, we have been trying to find an answer other than changing one of the most fundamental parts of the event.

The Improv A Thon will now run:

Tuesday the 15th, 10pm – 2am

We will vacate the theater as required until 8am

Shows resume at 8am Wednesday morning and will run until Midnight.

Please be patient with us as we completely overhaul an event on short notice.

If you would like to get some of the background of the problem, you’re welcome to read on.

If not, we will see you on Tuesday night for a massive night of fundraising for HUGE Theater.  Come help us crush Give To The Max Day.  We will make you laugh so hard you will beg for death.

The Problem

The nature of the problem is this – no building that has a license to serve alcohol can remain open for 24 hours.  I found this out on November 2nd when our guy at Licensing sent me his research on the subject with the verdict.  Not only that but there is no exemption or waiver process.  A building that does not serve can get a Conditional Use Permit to stay open 24 hours but they take “months and months” to obtain, I was told by the woman that actually decides them.

So there’s NO process for a space that serves beer to even apply to have an event like a marathon – never mind the marathon events at 7th St Entry or the Turf Club. It cannot be done legally. Everyone kept saying that to me as if that was an answer – what they did not want to discuss at the City level was what do we do to make it legal or what the options were.

But really, we are out of functional options.  That’s what this is about. But it is not for lack of trying.  It’s more because of a lack of a system that allows people to try.

I have been going in circles with the City, some State offices, the head of Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement, our Licensing guy, his superior, our City Councilperson and her associate.  Honestly, I should have given up a while ago so we could have more time to get the word out but I was holding out in hopes that we could have the event like we planned, promoted and was now being advertised in the press.

I got an email from the City Council this week saying I would get a call from our Councilperson no later than yesterday – I was still hoping that there was going to be some midnight-phone-call-from-the-governor action happening so I waited one more time.  The call never came, today is a holiday so they managed to not only put me off until next week, they suckered me into waiting even longer to get the word out.  Stupid me.

Not being one to just let things go – I am working on how we can change this for next year and every year thereafter by seeking to create an application process for exemptions.  It started a week or so ago and isn’t stopping any time really soon.  Below is the message I sent to our City Councilperson, the associate that told me I would be getting a phone call, our State Rep and State Senator’s office – both of whom have been incredibly supportive and helpful – and various other parties that I have been bashing my head into over the last nine days.

If this is the kind of thing you enjoy, there is much of it here for you….oh, and if you happen to be the Mayor or Governor or Emporer and want to make a phone call to allow us to run our theater marathon, I look forward to hearing from you.