Midnight Depravity, the theater troupe that hosts Saturday night showings of the audaciously offbeat B-movie, was chased from the Lon Chaney Theater in August. That's when a new supervisor, John Carricato, enforced a largely ignored ordinance to increase rental rates from $40 to $250 per night ("Rocky road," csindy.com/csindy/2006-08-03/news2.html).
So Midnight Depravity moved to The Palace, a venue located at 117 E. Las Vegas St. Everything seemed to be working out just fine until The Palace was shut down this month because of a fire code violation.
"We were notified, essentially, that the business did not comply with the change of usage for occupancy," says Deputy Fire Marshall Kris Cooper.
That came as a surprise to the owner of The Palace, Brian Lee, whose venue also had served as a training facility for a mixed martial arts fighting group.
"We checked with all of the agencies, like the city and liquor board, and wanted to make sure that there wouldn't be anything to hold up opening it as an event center," Lee says.
He appealed to the fire board for a variance, but was denied.
While Cooper says The Palace is free to resume business once it installs additional life safety measures, like a fire sprinkler system, Lee balks at the price tag for compliance. The lowest bid offered for both the sprinkler system and mandatory new water lines came in at $76,000.
"It certainly wasn't in our budget," says Lee, "nor did we foresee it."
Neither did the people behind the RHPS screenings, who, again, find their production without a home.