Snooze Theatre Raided by Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

Categories: Local Music
Snooze_Theatre_Flyer.jpg
Essential local DIY live-music venue the Snooze Theatre had its Monday-evening entertainment cut short by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office this week. The Lake Park venue, which was previously a blues club called the Orange Door, has been open for a little more than half a year. This is reportedly the first time local law enforcement has made this type of move at the Snooze -- and hopefully the last.

Update on Friday:
"THE SHOW TONIGHT IS CANCELLED AND SO ARE ALL OTHER SHOWS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE."

Things started to go sour just before midnight, when a man in PBSO green pulled Snooze co-owners Jordan Pettingill and C.J. Jankow outside to question them about their beer and wine license, which had reportedly expired. He proceeded to loudly admonish the pair, called for backup, and told them to cease all alcohol sales, adding "but you can keep the music going." Easier said than done, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

Update: according to PBSO public information officer Teri Barbera, Jankow and Pettingill were eventually arrested for selling alcohol without a license.

The spirit of the Snooze Theatre was first explored back in December 2010, when members of the West Palm Beach psychedelic synth-rock act the Jameses teamed with Pettingill and Jankow to host a two-day weekend festival at the spot dubbed Zitfest. Since then, when the owners aren't on tour with their bands Cop City Chill Pillars and Love Handles, the Snooze is a labor of love that has united a small, passionate segment of South Florida music lovers who want something different from a velvet rope and a $16 martini.
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Photo by Reed Fischer
PBSO sent two cars to the Snooze Theatre on Monday evening.
Pettingill politely explained to the sheriff's officer that any money made at the door or off the $4 Stellas at the bar would be split among the traveling bands. In the case of the blindfolded garage-punk duo the Vignettes, this means some necessary gas money for getting them back to their Memphis home. As is the case with many Snooze events, the place wasn't packed, but the crowd cheered heartily and bobbed their heads during Tumbleweave's spastic dubstep parody of a live DJ set between bands. However, once PBSO began digging through the cabinets and storage rooms and talking about potential fines, all of the night's energy was sapped from the venue's red checkered floor.

Via Chrome Dick, who was there to perform with Suede Dudes:

So the cops totally shut down the show at The Snooze Theatre tonight. Mainly because they were bored, saw some kids hanging out having a good time, and decided to ruin the rest of the night. Four of the six bands played... well, William Stull played half of a set.

Why couldn't they just leave us alone?! They should be patrolling the shitty areas and preventing crime, not music and creativity.

Fucking jerks.

In light of how difficult it is to obtain a beer and wine license for a South Florida bar in the first place and additionally how challenging it is to make it into a profitable venture (see Monterey Club), it was especially disheartening to see the night cut short by the law.

Any sort of public safety officer is that public safety should be the highest priority. When law enforcement focuses on keeping the peace and keeping people from harming themselves, it's arguably one of the greatest qualities of living in the United States. However, witnessing the Snooze Theatre raid felt more like harassment than "an education for all of us," as the man in green called it during his extensive explanation of the importance of treating him with the respect he deserves. How about treating one of the most upstanding venues around with the respect it deserves too?

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The Snooze Theater

798 Tenth St., West Palm Beach, FL

Category: Music

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21 comments
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Mrfantomhawk
Mrfantomhawk

Honestly, I wouldnt blame the police outright, odds are (I have never been here or met the owners) they have made enemies or pissed someone off down the line, or have an ex-employee  who reported them to the police.  Its very odd that the police would pick a day to come down to do a random inspection, thats the job of ABT (local) or ATF (federal).  This definitely sounds like a grudge of some sort.

DisSux
DisSux

Once again, someone is making assumptions based on ignorance. There are not ex-employees because the place is self-run by friends who are trying to do something good. With that being said, there would be no reason to rat them out, as nothing problematic was happening. The show was actually quite mild, and smaller than many others that I've attended. Nobody was being loud, no drinking was taking place outdoors, etc...

I've been to the Snooze countless times now, and have seen cops show up and chit-chat with Jordan and CJ on many occasions without any hassle, and the cops have driven away without a problem. This specific cop, however, was on a mission to disrupt the show and cause an unnecessary ruckus. In my opinion, he was acting like a bully and attempting to intimidate the owners of The Snooze and the patrons by acting like an asshole big-shot.

Mrfantomhawk
Mrfantomhawk

I said outright that I do not know the owners of the venue, I only speak from experience in the club and bar scene.  PBSO does not get involved in situations like this unless called.  ABT or ATF are the arm of law enforcement who do spot inspections. 

I have also been at venues that deal with noise complaints where there was no mention of license issues.  If the officer specifically showed up asking about the license in question, it just sounds to coincidental.  Its not ignorance, its common sense.

Mrfantomhawk
Mrfantomhawk

Well, I hope im wrong, because south florida needs live music venues.  I live and work in ft laud so the place is a bit far for me.  Im not trying to start a flame war here.  However, I would be extremely careful with your paperwork, if it was a single cop with some type of axe to grind (or just being a dick)  you can guarantee that he will be back...often.  They will probably be on the radar for the other arms of law enforcement I mentioned earlier, its like sharks in the water smelling blood.

 Refrigerator Raider
Refrigerator Raider

Clearly the PBSO did get involved and no one called them. The Snooze has been in great standing with the town of Lake Park, there are no neighbors that complain, and as mentioned above, numerous officers without an axe to grind for whatever reason have stopped by, checked it out, chatted with people and then taken off. You should do yourself a favor and stop making assumptions. Or, just come on down to the next show and check it out for yourself. 

Jay Blank
Jay Blank

Disgusting... Catch rapists, killers, muggers, POLITICIANS!!!  Don't fuck with people just trying to enjoy this shitty thing we have to deal with called life.

SnoozeBlues
SnoozeBlues

I just wanted to leave this comment for anyone who has never been to the Snooze but has read about the venue on the New Times Blog. The venue sucks. Poorly lit, filled with hipsters, no liquor license, and always at lease 1 PBSO car parked outside to prevent you from enjoying a cigarette with your PBR. All this accompanied by a fine selection of some of the worst noise I've ever heard passed off as "music".

beartoe
beartoe

I bet you listen to Nickle Back don't you

Ryan Burk
Ryan Burk

It's really not my style to legitimize shitposts like this by gracing them with a response, but there are always exceptions.

What exactly is it that you expect from a small, independently owned music venue? Not everyone cares to be wowed with fancy decor and other trivial bullshit. The majority of us (you not being a part, clearly) can respect and appreciate that CJ and Jordan put in their own time and money into providing the community (one, again, which you are not part of) with a place for people to convene and spend time.

I interviewed them earlier this summer and their goals for the place are admirable. They don't want to make a ton of money. They don't want to make a big name for themselves. They genuinely want to give something back to the rest of us. Gestures like this are rare and while you want to go ahead and be a jerk over the internet (anonymously, I might add)  the rest of us appreciate what they do.

Normally, I try not to feed trolls like you, but goddammit, I won't let this one slide.

The fact that you would immediately make immature blanket statements (example, "hipsters") shows your level of ignorance and your absence of taste and tact.

Simply stated, if you don't like it, don't go. If you don't like us, don't talk to us. If you don't like the music, don't listen to it, but above all else, leave us alone and let us have this place to ourselves.

Making fun of people for the way they dress and the music they like should have ended in high school. Grow up.

Harriebanana
Harriebanana

Head on over to Propaganda before they go under from mismanagement, shitty vibes and snarly bartenders and don't go to the snooze. 

Greg's Waffles and Cheese
Greg's Waffles and Cheese

Sounds like you've never been yourself, assclown. And right-- there is no liquor license because the Snooze does not serve liquor. There is indeed a beer & wine license... because that's what the Snooze serves! If you don't like the vibes, go somewhere else. I guarantee everyone that shows up to have a great time does not want someone with such a shitty attitude being present. 

AssClown
AssClown

I went once. Some guy smeared his own feces on his chest in the shape of a swastika then wandered around the venue with a boot covering his genitals. I didn't like the vibes.

The Kingfish
The Kingfish

If PBSO is reading this, the message is please leave the kids alone and go catch some violent criminals. WE PAY YOU AND YOU WORK FOR US, PBSO!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Pretty simple here: If you're going to sell alcohol, you need a license. If you don't have one, you're an easy target for Police Officers to do their jobs.

Jesus H. Christ.
Jesus H. Christ.

So the job of a "Police Officer" is to enforce licenses, which is essentially a tax issue and thus a civil, not criminal, infraction? These bored pieces of shit can't find their head from their own anuses and have no ability to prevent or solve real actual crime in the south Florida area, so they take it upon themselves to disrupt incredibly positive cultural gatherings. Ironically, they could've taken a trip a few blocks south and more than likely found some actual crime causing distress to actual humans.

I hope everyone realizes how damaging this is to music in our area and hopefully everyone who's ever played or attended a Snooze show will do what they can to ensure it's longevity. Everyone interested in music suffers when there isn't a fertile creative space to foster energy and ideas on such an important level.

Oh yeah- let's also make light of the fact that everyone's tax dollars were used for this 'raid,' which benefitted the public in no way whatsoever. Lake Park and Palm Beach county are not any safer as a result. On the contrary, violent crimes happen all over the county daily. SO what, exactly, is the purpose of these 'peace keeping' assholes?

KP
KP

Is it correct to say that having a license is required by law? If it is, this would mean that PBSO was enforcing the law.

Reed Fischer
Reed Fischer

I don't think I was expecting to get a chance to say "Thank you, Jesus" on this thread. Thank you, tho.

Anonymous: I think that no one is arguing that laws should not be enforced. But the way this happened last night suggested to me (and others in attendance) that the priorities of the law enforcement could be vastly different. Safe social spaces -- especially in the far reaches of Palm Beach -- are hard to come by, and they can do a lot of good to keep people out of trouble.

Mrfantomhawk
Mrfantomhawk

this is completely false.  Any bar operating without a license would be shut down on the spot, im supprised it was pbso and not ABT that came in though

Franklin
Franklin

Not to mention... in pretty much ANY OTHER license-related situation, a raid would not have happened. You would get a warning to get your shit together and the pigs would take off. 

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