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City of LA Hits Hollywood Nightclub With 40 Criminal Charges

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Playhouse was subjected to a 10 month investigation before charges were filed on Friday

Playhouse Hollywood
Emily S. via Yelp

The LA City Attorney has filed a whopping 40 criminal charges against the owners of Hollywood nightclub Playhouse. Last week’s announcement comes after a massive multi-agency effort where the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, LA Department of Building and Safety, LA Planning Department, and the Los Angeles Police Department investigated the club over a ten-month period.

City Attorney Mike Feuer made the announcement on Friday, which includes allegations of after hours alcohol sales, over-serving intoxicated customers, and lack of security. The focus on Playhouse began when a shooting occurred on New Year’s Day in 2018, where a patron was shot in the leg in front the club. According to Feuer’s statement, officers entered Playhouse and discovered it was still serving alcohol well beyond mandated 2 a.m. last call.

In a separate October 25 incident, officers allegedly discovered an underage club-goer leaving the premises with an unregistered firearm. And between May and October last year, three women reported being victims of alleged alcohol-induced sexual assault. One of these women was 20 years old at the time of the alleged attack.

In 2018, officials visited Playhouse seven times from January to October and discovered multiple permit and criminal violations. Playhouse’s owners were warned repeatedly to fix the problems by adding more security guards, locking unguarded doors, and not serving alcohol to visibly intoxicated patrons.

Feuer’s office said Playhouse experienced a rash of alleged crime in recent years, including theft, armed robberies, assaults, and a 20-person brawl that ended with a shooting on October 2, 2018.

Businesses in the Hollywood Entertainment District are under scrutiny. Feuer’s office investigated a number of non-compliant clubs in the area, including Paloma nightclub, Liaison nightclub, Delicious Vinyl, and Cashmere, which was closed after illegally operating as a strip club.

Below is a statement from a Representative from Playhouse:

“Playhouse Nightclub has been open since 2009 and has always provided a safe environment by employing over 25 security guards and a security plan in line with other clubs in Los Angeles. These accusations began when LAPD demanded that the club stop playing Hip Hop and Latin music several months ago. LAPD have made it clear they do not want that kind of music played in Hollywood. “This music brings a bad element to Hollywood” is what an officer said to our management. These false accusations were filed on December 28th because of statute of limitations and not for reasons of safety. Other than an isolated incident that happened in 2011 Playhouse has never been cited for serving after hours or serving to minors. All of the incidents have occurred outside of the facility and in parking lots not controlled by Playhouse or it’s staff. We believe Playhouse is being targeted and potentially racially profiled. Playhouse has always been focused on abiding the law, the safety of our patrons and respecting our community”.